The Solar X-ray Imager is being developed by the Lockheed Martin Solar
and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL). SXI will provide near real-time imaging
of the Solar Corona in the spectral range of 6 Å to 60 Å (~0.2
to 2KeV) allowing investigation of solar features such as active regions,
magnetic loops and coronal holes. SXI is being developed for the US National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and will fly on the GOES
(Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) N and O satellites.
It is anticipated that images from SXI will contribute towards improving
our understanding of how the behaviour of the Sun can affect the "space
weather" and its subsequent impact on the Earth.
LMSAL will be using CCDs developed by Marconi Applied Technologies (formerly
EEV) in Chelmsford, UK. LMSAL have placed a subcontract with MSSL both
to manage the procurement of these devices and to perform some characterisation
on them additional to the characterisation provided by Marconi.
The CCD used in the SXI imager is the Marconi CCD 64, some of the key
features of which are as follows:
512 x 580 active pixel imaging area;
Back illuminated to maximise quantum efficiency in the low energy X-ray
16 µm square pixels;
Anti blooming facility to improve the dynamic range by preventing charge
spilling into adjacent pixels;
On-chip temperature sensors;
Two output amplifiers (for redundancy);
Dump gate and drain for windowing.
Above: The GOES satellite. Mainly a weather satellite but the X-ray
sensor (The SXI instrument) is always pointed at the sun.
This page is maintained by Chris