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Report on 2nd Astro-E2 Science Working Group Meeting
A meeting of the Astro-E2 Science Working Group (SWG) was held in late August in the US. The SWG is a group to discuss Astro-E2 from a scientific point of view and to give advice. The group is organized with Japanese, US, and European astrophysists. This meeting was the second meeting, and there were 34 Japanese, 31 US, and 3 European participants.
According to the status reports presented by each scientific instrument team, fabrication of each subsystem is generally going well, though there are some minor delays. Of course, each team must have been working hard and made all possible efforts to say in this SWG meeting, "We tested this part and verified the expected performance."
One of the most important topics in this meeting was the choice of the pixel format of the XRS. The XRS is a high-resolution X-ray spectrometer and one of the main onboard instruments. After the Astro-E1 failure, the XRS team kept trying to improve the energy resolution and to array the pixels in 2-D format, and recently they achieved 6 eV resolution (FWHM) for 5.9 keV X-rays with a 6x6 2D array detector. The detector is twice better than Astro-E1 had, and 20 times better than other satellites in orbit have so far. Many scientists said "Astro-E2 will enable us to detect the fine structures of emission lines and thermal motions, and will pioneer a new field which Chandra or Newton satellites would never be able to explore."
The Astro-E1 type detector is ready for the flight. There are some more items which has to be technically qualified for the new type detector. However, after detailed discussion on technical issues and schedule, we concluded that we will adopt this new type of detector, so long as no problems occur in the tests to be performed.
The meeting place was located at a famous resort. Many people seemed to enjoy summer vacation, while we enjoyed very hot debates. The next meeting will be held in February or March in 2003.
Astro-E2 Project Scientist: Hideyo Kunieda
ISAS/JAXA Department of High Energy Astrophysics
Last Modified: Sunday, 05-Oct-2003 20:04:11 JST