A hard X-ray polarimeter designed for transient astrophysical sources


McConnell ML, Bloser P, Legere J, Macri JR, Narita T. A hard X-ray polarimeter designed for transient astrophysical sources, in Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, 2005 IEEE. ; 2005.


— This paper discusses the latest progress in the development of GRAPE (Gamma-Ray Polarimeter Experiment), a hard X-ray Compton Polarimeter. The purpose of GRAPE is to measure the polarization of hard X-rays in the 50-300 keV energy range. We are particularly interested in X-rays that are emitted from solar flares and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Accurately measuring the polarization of the emitted radiation from these sources will lead, to a better understating of both the emission mechanisms and source geometries. The GRAPE design consists of an array of plastic scintillators surrounding a central high-Z crystal scintillator. We can monitor individual Compton scatters that occur in the plastics and determine whether the photon is photo absorbed by the high-Z crystal or not. A Compton scattered photon that is immediately photo absorbed by the high-Z crystal constitutes a valid event. These valid events provide us with the interaction locations of each incident photon and ultimately produces a modulation pattern for the Compton scattering of the polarized radiation. Comparing with Monte Carlo simulations of a 100% polarized beam, the level of polarization of the measured beam can then be determined. The complete array is mounted on a flat-panel multi-anode photomultiplier tube (MAPMT) that can measure the deposited energies resulting from the photon interactions. The design of the detector allows for a large field-ofview (\textgreater π steradian), at the same time offering the ability to be close-packed with multiple modules in order to reduce deadspace. We plan to present in this paper the latest laboratory results obtained from GRAPE using partially polarized radiation sources.