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Journal Articles Astrophys.J. Year : 2021

Timing Calibration of the NuSTAR X-ray Telescope

Matteo Bachetti
  • Function : Author
Craig B. Markwardt
  • Function : Author
Brian W. Grefenstette
  • Function : Author
Eric V. Gotthelf
  • Function : Author
Lucien Kuiper
  • Function : Author
W. Rick Cook
  • Function : Author
Andrew Davis
  • Function : Author
Felix Furst
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1274428
Karl Forster
  • Function : Author
Fiona A. Harrison
  • Function : Author
Kristin K. Madsen
  • Function : Author
Hiromasa Miyasaka
  • Function : Author
Bryce Roberts
  • Function : Author
John A. Tomsick
  • Function : Author
Dominic J. Walton
  • Function : Author

Abstract

The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission is the first focusing X-ray telescope in the hard X-ray (3–79 keV) band. Among the phenomena that can be studied in this energy band, some require high time resolution and stability: rotation-powered and accreting millisecond pulsars, fast variability from black holes and neutron stars, X-ray bursts, and more. Moreover, a good alignment of the timestamps of X-ray photons to UTC is key for multi-instrument studies of fast astrophysical processes. In this paper, we describe the timing calibration of the NuSTAR mission. In particular, we present a method to correct the temperature-dependent frequency response of the on-board temperature-compensated crystal oscillator. Together with measurements of the spacecraft clock offsets obtained during downlinks passes, this allows a precise characterization of the behavior of the oscillator. The calibrated NuSTAR event timestamps for a typical observation are shown to be accurate to a precision of ∼65 μs.

Dates and versions

hal-02966408 , version 1 (13-10-2020)

Identifiers

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Matteo Bachetti, Craig B. Markwardt, Brian W. Grefenstette, Eric V. Gotthelf, Lucien Kuiper, et al.. Timing Calibration of the NuSTAR X-ray Telescope. Astrophys.J., 2021, 908 (2), pp.184. ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/abd1d6⟩. ⟨hal-02966408⟩
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