Polarisation measurements with a CdTe pixel array detector for Laue hard X-ray focusing telescopes
Polarimetry is an area of high energy astrophysics which is still relatively unexplored, even though it is recognized that this type of measurement could drastically increase our knowledge of the physics and geometry of high energy sources. For this reason, in the context of the design of a Gamma-Ray Imager based on new hard-X and soft gamma ray focusing optics for the next ESA Cosmic Vision call for proposals (Cosmic Vision 2015–2025), it is important that this capability should be implemented in the principal on-board instrumentation. For the particular case of wide band-pass Laue optics we propose a focal plane based on a thick pixelated CdTe detector operating with high efficiency between 60–600 keV. The high segmentation of this type of detector (1–2mm pixel size) and the good energy resolution (a few keV FWHM at 500 keV) will allow high sensitivity polarisation measurements (a few % for a 10 mCrab source in 106s) to be performed. We have evaluated the modulation Q factors and minimum detectable polarisation through the use of Monte Carlo simulations (based on the GEANT 4 toolkit) for on and off-axis sources with power law emission spectra using the point spread function of a Laue lens in a feasible configuration.
KeywordsCdTe Pixel detector Polarization Hard X-ray Laue lens
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