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Development and characterization of the detector system of the MIRAX experiment

Grant number: 15/25972-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 27, 2019
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Astronomy - Astronomical Instrumentation
Principal Investigator:João Braga
Grantee:Manuel Antonio Castro Ávila
Home Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/26258-4 - Superdense matter in the universe, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):17/00968-6 - Instrument simulations and data analysis techniques in X-ray astronomy, BE.EP.PD


The post-doctorate research to be carried out by the candidate will concentrate on the development of the space experiment MIRAX (Monitor e Imageador de Raios X) and in the completion and launch of a prototype, protoMIRAX, at balloon altitudes (~42 km), to test the detectors and other subsystems in a near-space environment. MIRAX will be mounted on an INPE satellite that will be launched in a near-equatorial circular orbit at an altitude of 650 km. The launch date is yet to be determined. This project consists in (a) the characterization, assembly and calibration of the X-ray detector system, and (b) the study of scientific targets for the mission and simulations of observations of X-ray transient sources. The candidate will participate in the assembly, characterization and calibration of the detectors that make up the detection plane of the instrument. These detectors are made of semiconductor material (CdZnTe) and represent the state of the art in the field. He will also develop software to model and run Monte Carlo simulations of the background and of observations of astrophysical X-ray sources, taking into account the interactions of several particle and photon fields with the detector plane and the different materials that are present in the instrument. These simulations will allow the production of shadowgrams of the mask onto the detector plane, which will be used to generate reconstructed images and energy spectra of the selected source fields. This will be of crucial importance to optimize the observations after the launch of the satellite. MIRAX will observe a number of different types of X-ray emitting systems, which include X-ray binaries, active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The candidate will combine his previous experience with X-ray binary systems analysis with the knowledge he has already acquired about the MIRAX instrumentation to analyze the simulated data and generate light curves and energy spectra of these astrophysical objects. This project is associated with Projeto Temático 2013/26258-4, titled "Matéria Superdensa no Universo", led by Prof. Dr. Manuel Malheiro from ITA.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BORGES, V, SARAH; RODRIGUES, V, CLAUDIA; COELHO, JAZIEL G.; MALHEIRO, MANUEL; CASTRO, MANUEL. A Magnetic White Dwarf Accretion Model for the Anomalous X-Ray Pulsar 4U 0142+61. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, v. 895, n. 1 MAY 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
STECCHINI, PAULO E.; D'AMICO, F.; JABLONSKI, F.; CASTRO, M.; BRAGA, J. Broadband X-ray analysis of 1E1740.7-2942: constraints on spin, inclination, and a tentative black hole mass. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, v. 493, n. 2, p. 2694-2705, APR 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
STECCHINI, PAULO EDUARDO; CASTRO, MANUEL; JABLONSKI, FRANCISCO; D'AMICO, FLAVIO; BRAGA, JOAO. Tandem Swift and INTEGRAL Data to Revisit the Orbital and Superorbital Periods of 1E1740.7-2942. Astrophysical Journal Letters, v. 843, n. 1 JUL 1 2017. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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