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Preparing for Future Observatories with an EBIT Facility

Presentation #103.26 in the session Missions and Instruments.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Preparing for Future Observatories with an EBIT Facility

The new era of non-dispersive, high-resolution X-ray microcalorimeter missions, including XRISM (2023) and Athena, will revolutionize X-ray astronomy. XRISM is expected to have a spectral resolution 20-40 times higher than CCDs onboard current observatories, and a significantly increased bandpass and collecting area compared with current grating spectrometers. Results from its short-lived predecessor, the Hitomi mission, showed that systematic errors from the models and underlying atomic physics may dominate over instrumental and statistical errors. Therefore, if state-of-the art observatories are not met with adequate advances in laboratory data, the scientific potential of these missions will be compromised.

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) facility is well suited for such laboratory studies given its location at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, where laboratory scientists and direct users of the data co-exist. In this work we describe recent and ongoing progress made to prepare the EBIT facility for upcoming laboratory astrophysics studies. This includes the addition of element injection systems and new detectors. Measurements presented demonstrate the EBIT’s ability to isolate charge states and atomic processes, due to its quasi mono-energetic electron beam. Measurements are compared with a recently developed collisional-radiative model used to simulate the EBIT plasma and identify measured features.

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