X-ray camera development for the NASA OGRE sounding rocket mission

Lead Research Organisation: Open University
Department Name: Physical Sciences

Abstract

X-ray camera development for the NASA OGRE sounding rocket mission

Publications

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publication icon
Lewis M (2017) The simulated spectrum of the OGRE X-ray EM-CCD camera system in Journal of Instrumentation

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/N50421X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2020
1654213 Studentship ST/N50421X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2018 Matthew Richard Lewis
 
Description Tests with the prototype camera system show that the final flight model will work as intended given the codes are appropriately translated from Matlab to C++ or Python. Event processing can occur on-board the system during the flight to do an X-ray check with results being sent to the operating station on the ground. Although the designs are in place that should keep the operating conditions optimal during the flight enough data has been found which will allow parameters to be changed from the ground station to counteract any undesired effects which may arise due to things like unexpected heating or noisy data.
A model of the rocket payload was also generated which showed a high chance the mission wouldn't meet the minimum success criteria. This was forwarded on to other teams in the project and helped secure additional funding to allow for a new design to be put together and constructed (Greater observational area needed and the resultant change essentially doubled the original area).
Exploitation Route The launch is scheduled for some time in 2020 (or later) with work being needed to fully optimise the event processing algorithm for the OGRE energies (rather than the iron-55 energies used in the proof of concept) as well as ensuring all codes still work once imported to the final system.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Security and Diplomacy

 
Title OGRE payload simulation 
Description An ideal model of the OGRE payload was created to check its performance compared to the mission success criteria with the understanding that this would set the upper limit of the payloads capability. The optical system, diffraction gratings, optical blocking filter and EMCCD camera were simulated with assumptions made which if accounted for would only decrease the performance. The output spectrum was compared to that of Chandra's recorded spectrum from a much longer observation. A publication was produced based on this work. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The simulation with its simplified model showed that there was a good chance the the mission upon launch would not quite meet the minimum success criteria specified. As a result the PI arranged a meeting between the main project team (Penn State University, responsible for the grating modules) and Goddard Flight Center (responsible for the projects optical module) which resulted in a large redesign which drastically changed the OGRE payload. The task of simulating the new design were handed to a student at Penn State University with experience in ray tracing. 
URL http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-0221/12/12/C12020
 
Description OGRE Collaborators 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department Goddard Space Flight Center
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Work on the camera system (designed and built by XCAM Ltd.) to enhance and optimise its performance. Simulation checks on the whole OGRE payload.
Collaborator Contribution XCAM supplied the prototype build of the camera system and will be building the final camera system as well as thermal solution for the camera system.The Penn State team are responsible for the overall design of the OGRE payload as well as the grating module. The Goddard team are responsible for the optical module of the payload.
Impact The simulation I carried out affected the design of the whole mission with each collaborator having to make appropriate changes to ensure mission success.
Start Year 2015
 
Description OGRE Collaborators 
Organisation Penn State University
Department Department of Physics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Work on the camera system (designed and built by XCAM Ltd.) to enhance and optimise its performance. Simulation checks on the whole OGRE payload.
Collaborator Contribution XCAM supplied the prototype build of the camera system and will be building the final camera system as well as thermal solution for the camera system.The Penn State team are responsible for the overall design of the OGRE payload as well as the grating module. The Goddard team are responsible for the optical module of the payload.
Impact The simulation I carried out affected the design of the whole mission with each collaborator having to make appropriate changes to ensure mission success.
Start Year 2015
 
Description OGRE Collaborators 
Organisation XCAM Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Work on the camera system (designed and built by XCAM Ltd.) to enhance and optimise its performance. Simulation checks on the whole OGRE payload.
Collaborator Contribution XCAM supplied the prototype build of the camera system and will be building the final camera system as well as thermal solution for the camera system.The Penn State team are responsible for the overall design of the OGRE payload as well as the grating module. The Goddard team are responsible for the optical module of the payload.
Impact The simulation I carried out affected the design of the whole mission with each collaborator having to make appropriate changes to ensure mission success.
Start Year 2015
 
Title OGRE X-ray event detection agorithms 
Description The use of parallel binning on the OGRE devices meant that a specialised event detection algorithm needed to be created to identify X-rays which would have a different resultant shape due to the way the detectors are used. This is being compared to another X-ray detection algorithm which specialises in standard X-ray outputs. The algorithm will be uploaded onto the final OGRE flight camera and used during the mission. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Results show that the new processing codes are capable of detecting more X-rays than the comparison gold standard algorithm. Checks remain to be seen on which of the methods is the most accurate with fine tuning to occur before launch in 2020. 
 
Description School Bottle Rocket Competition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Year 9 students from several schools were tasked with using the scientific method to optimise the design of their bottle rockets. Throughout the day they were encouraged to come up with theories and test them throughout the day to allow for a design which could be used to achieve the longest launch distance as well as the best accuracy. Students also had to deliver a talk on their findings at the end of the day. My responsibilities were to brief the students on their task and give them an introduction to rockets as well as overseeing their performance over the day and judging how well they presented their findings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/per/?p=7022#more-7022
 
Description School Physicist Of The Year awards (SPOTY) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Running a stand to showcase the technology used by the group and its impact on the space industry. There were interactive exhibits and the general public and children could ask quesitons.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018