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Spectroscopic Time-Resolving Observatory for Broadband X-rays (STROBE-X)

Presentation #306.05 in the session The APEX X-ray Probes.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Spectroscopic Time-Resolving Observatory for Broadband X-rays (STROBE-X)

We describe a probe-class mission concept that provides an unprecedented view of the X-ray sky, performing timing and 0.2-30 keV spectroscopy over timescales from microseconds to years. The Spectroscopic Time-Resolving Observatory for Broadband Energy X-rays (STROBE-X) has three key science drivers: (1) measuring the spin distribution of accreting black holes, (2) understanding the equation of state of dense matter, and (3) monitor the X-ray sky for transients and variability that will reveal multi-messenger counterparts, trigger pointed observations, and characterize long term evolution of sources. To perform these science investigations, STROBE-X comprises three primary instruments. The first uses an array of lightweight optics (3-m focal length) that concentrate incident photons onto solid state detectors with CCD-level (85-130 eV) energy resolution, 100 ns time resolution, and low background rates to cover the 0.2-12 keV band. This technology is scaled up from NICER, with enhanced optics to take advantage of the longer focal length of STROBE-X. The second uses large-area collimated silicon drift detectors, developed for ESA’s LOFT, to cover the 2-30 keV band. These two instruments, with effective areas of 2 m2 at 1.5 keV and 5 m2 at 10 keV, respectively, each provide an order of magnitude improvement in effective area compared with its predecessor (NICER and RXTE, respectively). Finally, a sensitive sky monitor triggers pointed observations, provides high duty cycle, high time resolution, high spectral resolution monitoring of the X-ray sky with ~20 times the sensitivity of the RXTE ASM, and enables multi-wavelength and multi-messenger studies on a continuous, rather than scanning basis. The STROBE-X mission concept is rapidly re-pointable observatory in low-Earth orbit, which fulfills the Astro2020 recommendation for an X-ray Probe and will be an important part of the recommended Time Domain and Multi-Messenger program.

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