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Tests and calibrations of the ABRIXAS flight model finished at MPE's PANTER test facility
ABRIXAS's Arrival
ABRIXAS's Arrival
ABRIXAS put into PANTER's vacuum chamber
PANTER test facility
Calibration results
Calibration results
Cross scan
Cross scan
Al-K point source
Al-K point source
On January 19, 1999, the principal components of the ABRIXAS satellite, the mirror assembly together with the optical bench and the focal plane detector including electronics, arrived in the former ROSAT container at MPE's X-ray test facility PANTER in Neuried. There the final calibration of the telescope/detector flight modules as well as the so-called "end-to-end" tests using the complete chain: satellite, ground station at the German Space Operation Centre (GSOC) in Weilheim, and real time station at MPE's PANTER facility, were performed. These tests and calibrations lasted about two weeks and established the full functionality of the complete chain as it will operate during the ABRIXAS mission. The calibration of the telescope/detector unit was essentially two-fold. One main test was the alignment of the seven telescope modules with respect to each other and to the 60 mm × 60 mm pn-CCD camera. As a result, the optical axis of the central telescope lies within 4 arcmin of the central point of the detector, and the axes of the six outer telescopes fall within 5 arcmin of the expected circle around the focal point of the central telescope. Furthermore, the field of view of each of the seven telescope modules was scanned by an X-ray beam in two mutally perpendicular directions at energies of 1.49 and 6.4 keV. These "cross scans" are used to determine the vignetting of the telescopes as well as to verify and model their point spread functions, which have to be precisely known before starting the all-sky survey. ABRIXAS will be launch with a COSMOS rocket from the Russian Kapustyn Yar located about 150 km east of Volgograd. tentatively on April 28 of this year.

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