M. Pinto, R. M. Curado da Silva, J. M. Maia, N. Simões, J. Marques, L. Pereira, A. M. F. Trindade, E. Caroli, N. Auricchio, J. B. Stephen, P. Gonçalves
So far, polarimetry in high-energy astrophysics has been insufficiently explored due to the complexity of the required detection, electronic and signal processing systems. However, its importance is today largely recognized by the astrophysical community, therefore the next generation of high-energy space instruments will certainly provide polarimetric observations, contemporaneously with spectroscopy and imaging. We have been participating in high-energy observatory proposals submitted to ESA Cosmic Vision calls, such as GRI (Gamma-Ray Imager), DUAL and ASTROGAM, where the main instrument was a spectro-imager with polarimetric capabilities. More recently, the H2020 AHEAD project was launched with the objective to promote more coherent and mature future high-energy space mission proposals. In this context of high-energy proposal development, we have tested a CdZnTe detection plane prototype polarimeter under a partially polarized gamma-ray beam generated from an aluminum target irradiated by a 22Na (511 keV) radioactive source. The polarized beam cross section was 1 cm2, allowing the irradiation of a wide multi-pixelated area where all the pixels operate simultaneously as a scatterer and as an absorber. The methods implemented to analyze such multi-pixel irradiation are similar to those required to analyze a spectro-imager polarimeter operating in space, since celestial source photons should irradiate its full pixilated area. Correction methods to mitigate systematic errors inherent to CdZnTe and to the experimental conditions were also implemented. The polarization level (~40%) and the polarization angle (precision of ±5° up to ±9°) obtained under multi-pixel irradiation conditions are presented and compared with simulated data.
Polarimetry, X-rays, Gamma-rays, CdZnTe, Astrophysics, Detectors
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Volume 840, Page 69