Water Recovery X-Ray Rocket grating spectrometer

Drew M. Miles, Samuel V. Hull, Ted B. Schultz, James H. Tutt, Mitchell Wages, Benjamin D. Donovan, Randall L. McEntaffer, Abraham D. Falcone, Tyler Anderson, Evan Bray, David N. Burrows, Tanmoy Chattopadhyay, Chad M. Eichfeld, Nathan Empson, Fabien Grisé, Christopher R. Hillman, Jake A. McCoy, Maria McQuaide, Bailey J. Myers, Tyler SteinerMarc A. Verschuuren, Daniel Yastishock, Ningxiao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Water Recovery X-Ray Rocket (WRXR) was a suborbital rocket payload that was launched and recovered in April 2018. The WRXR flew two technologies being developed for future large x-ray missions: x-ray reflection gratings and a hybrid CMOS detector (HCD). The large-format replicated gratings on the WRXR were measured in ground calibrations to have absolute single-order diffraction efficiency of 60%, 50%, and 35% at CVI, OVII, and OVIII emission energies, respectively. The HCD was operated with 6 e read noise and 88 eV energy resolution at 0.5 keV. The WRXR was also part of a two-payload campaign that successfully demonstrated NASA sounding rocket water recovery technology for science payloads. The primary instrument, a soft x-ray grating spectrometer, targeted diffuse emission from the Vela supernova remnant over a field-of-view <10 deg2. The flight data show that the detector was operational during flight and detected x-ray events from an on-board calibration source, but there was no definitive detection of x-ray events from Vela. Flight results are presented along with a discussion of factors that could have contributed to the null detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044006
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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