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The Instruments and Capabilities of the Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSats View all abstracts by submitter

Amir Caspi   Submitted: 2018-01-24 16:01

The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSat is the first solar science oriented CubeSat mission flown for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, with the main objective of measuring the solar soft X-ray (SXR) flux and a science goal of determining its influence on Earth's ionosphere and thermosphere. These observations can also be used to investigate solar quiescent, active region, and flare properties. The MinXSS X-ray instruments consist of a spectrometer, called X123, with a nominal 0.15 keV full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) resolution at 5.9 keV and a broadband X-ray photometer, called XP. Both instruments are designed to obtain measurements from 0.5-30 keV at a nominal time cadence of 10 seconds. A description of the MinXSS instruments, performance capabilities, and relation to the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) 0.1-0.8 nm flux are discussed in this article. Early MinXSS results demonstrate the capability to measure variations of the solar spectral SXR flux between 0.8-12 keV from at least GOES A5-M5 (5x10-8-5x10-5 W m-2) levels and infer physical properties (temperature and emission measure) from the MinXSS data alone. Moreover, coronal elemental abundances can be inferred, specifically Fe, Ca, Si, Mg, S, Ar, and Ni, when there is sufficiently high count rate at each elemental spectral feature. Additionally, temperature response curves and emission measure loci demonstrate the MinXSS sensitivity to plasma emission at different temperatures. MinXSS observations coupled with those from other solar observatories can help address some of the most compelling questions in solar coronal physics. Finally, simultaneous observations by MinXSS and Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) can provide the most spectrally complete soft X-ray solar flare photon flux measurements to date.

Authors: Christopher S. Moore, Amir Caspi, Thomas N. Woods, Phillip C. Chamberlin, Brian R. Dennis, Andrew R. Jones, James P. Mason, Richard A. Schwartz, Anne K. Tolbert
Projects: GOES X-rays,MinXSS,RHESSI

Publication Status: Published -- Moore et al. 2018, Sol. Phys., 293, 21; DOI: 10.1007/s11207-018-1243-3
Last Modified: 2018-01-29 14:04
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