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Development of tiled imaging CZT detectors for sensitive wide-field hard X-ray surveys to EXIST

Motivated by the proposed EXIST mission, a “medium-class” space observatory to survey black holes and the Early Universe proposed to the 2010 NAS/NRC Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, we have developed the first “large” area 256 cm2 close-tiled (0.6 mm gaps) hard X-ray (20–600 keV) imaging detector employing pixelated (2.5 mm) CdZnTe (CZT) detectors, each 2×2×0.5 cm3. We summarize the design, development and operation of this detector array (8×8 CZTs) and its performance as the imager for a coded aperture telescope on a high altitude (40 km) balloon flight in October, 2009, as the ProtoEXIST1 payload. We then outline our current development of a second-generation imager, ProtoEXIST2, with 0.6 mm pixels on a 32×32 array on each CZT, and how it will lead to the ultimate imaging system needed for EXIST. Other applications of this technology will also be mentioned.
 
Fig. 1. Wide-field HET (90°×70°), narrow-field IRT (5 ft×5 ft) and SXI (20 ft) co-aligned on the EXISTspacecraft. Zenith pointing 23o North/South of the i=15o orbital plane surveys the full sky every 3 h for HET.
 
Source: sciencedirect
 
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