Arcus: The soft x-ray grating explorer

Randall K. Smith, Margaret Abraham, Grace Baird, Marshall Bautz, Jay Bookbinder, Joel Bregman, Laura Brenneman, Nancy Brickhouse, David Burrows, Vadim Burwitz, Joseph Bushman, Claude Canizares, Deepto Chakrabarty, Peter Cheimets, Elisa Costantini, Simon Dawson, Casey Deroo, Abraham Falcone, Adam Foster, Luigi GalloCatherine E. Grant, H. Moritz Günther, Ralf K. Heilmann, Butler Hine, David Huenemoerder, Steve Jara, Jelle Kaastra, Ingo Kreykenbohm, Kristin Madsen, Michael McDonald, Michael McEachen, Randall McEntaffer, Herman Marshall, Eric Miller, Jon Miller, Elisabeth Morse, Richard Mushotzky, Kirpal Nandra, Michael A. Nowak, Frits Paerels, Robert Petre, Katja Poppenhaeger, Andrew Ptak, Paul Reid, Karolyn Ronzano, Jeremy Sanders, Mark Schattenburg, Jonathan Schonfeld, Norbert Schulz, Alan Smale, Pasquale Temi, Lynne Valencic, Stephen Walker, Richard Willingale, Joern Wilms, Scott Wolk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


Arcus provides high-resolution soft X-ray spectroscopy in the 12-50 Å bandpass with unprecedented sensitivity, including spectral resolution < 2500 and effective area < 250 cm2. The three top science goals for Arcus are (1) to measure the effects of structure formation imprinted upon the hot baryons that are predicted to lie in extended halos around galaxies, (2) to trace the propagation of outflowing mass, energy, and momentum from the vicinity of the black hole to extragalactic scales as a measure of their feedback, and (3) to explore how stars form and evolve. Arcus uses the same 12 m focal length grazing-incidence Silicon Pore X-ray Optics (SPOs) that ESA has developed for the Athena mission; the focal length is achieved on orbit via an extendable optical bench. The focused X-rays from these optics are diffracted by high-efficiency Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) gratings, and the results are imaged with flight-proven CCD detectors and electronics. Combined with the high-heritage NGIS LEOStar-2 spacecraft and launched into 4:1 lunar resonant orbit, Arcus provides high sensitivity and high efficiency observing of a wide range of astrophysical sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI
EditorsOswald H. Siegmund
ISBN (Electronic)9781510629295
StatePublished - 2019
EventUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2019Aug 13 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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