Performance of the Nuclear Compton Telescope
On 1 June 2005, the prototype Nuclear Compton Telescope (NCT) flew on a high altitude balloon from Fort Sumner, New Mexico. NCT is a balloon-borne soft γ-ray (0.2–10 MeV) telescope for studying astrophysical sources of nuclear line emission and γ- ray polarization. Our program is designed to develop and test technologies and analysis techniques crucial for the Advanced Compton Telescope; however, our detector design and configuration is also well matched to the focal plane requirements for focusing Laue lenses. The NCT prototype utilizes two, 3D imaging germanium detectors (GeDs) in a novel, ultra-compact design optimized for nuclear line emission in the 0.5–2MeV range. Our prototype flight provides a critical test of the novel detector technologies, analysis techniques, and background rejection procedures developed for high resolution Compton telescopes.
KeywordsCompton telescopes Gamma-ray spectroscopy Gamma-ray astronomy Balloon payloads
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