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X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat)

Context:

Recently, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that India is set to launch its first X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat).

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat): India’s Pioneering Polarimetry Mission

XPoSat represents India’s inaugural dedicated polarimetry mission designed to explore the dynamics of bright astronomical X-ray sources in extreme conditions.

Aim:

  • The primary goal is to investigate the polarization of intense X-ray sources, advancing our understanding of celestial phenomena.
Scientific Payloads:
  • POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays):
    • Measures polarimetry parameters (degree and angle of polarization) in the medium X-ray energy range (8-30 keV) for astronomical photons.
  • XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing) Payload:
    • Provides spectroscopic information in the energy range of 0.8-15 keV.
Orbit and Designation:
  • Designated for observation from a Low Earth Orbit, specifically a non-sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of approximately 650 km with a low inclination of around six degrees.
Mission Duration:
  • Anticipated mission life is approximately five years.
Observation Strategy:
  • Payloads onboard XPoSat will observe X-ray sources during the spacecraft’s transit through Earth’s shadow, particularly during the eclipse period.
Launch Details:
  • The satellite is scheduled to be launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

-Source: Indian Express


February 2024
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