ISRO’s latest mission, the XPoSat, marks a significant milestone in the field of space-based X-ray astronomy. With a focus on measuring the polarisation of X-rays from celestial sources, this dedicated scientific satellite is set to revolutionize our understanding of cosmic events.
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The Importance of XPoSat Mission
According to ISRO, the XPoSat mission is the first of its kind, dedicated solely to conducting research in space-based polarisation measurements of X-ray emission from celestial sources. This groundbreaking mission is poised to bring substantial benefits to the global Astronomy community. As the space-based study of X-Ray polarisation gains international importance, the XPoSat mission is expected to play a significant role in advancing our understanding of cosmic phenomena.
Significance of X-Ray Polarisation Studies
The primary objective of the PSLV-C58 mission is to measure the polarisation of X-rays in the energy band 8-30 keV emanating from about 50 potential cosmic sources. This will enable long-term spectral and temporal studies of cosmic X-ray sources, providing invaluable insights into the radiation mechanism and geometry of celestial bodies. The X-ray polarisation measurements serve as a crucial diagnostic tool for examining the physics of celestial sources such as black holes, neutron stars, and active galactic nuclei.
Key Payloads and Mission Scope
The XPoSat carries the primary payload of POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-Rays) designed to measure polarimetry parameters by the Raman Research Institute and XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing) built by the U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru. The mission life is estimated to be around 5 years, during which it will conduct crucial observations and experiments to advance our knowledge of cosmic events.
International Collaboration and Scientific Advancement
The space agency highlighted the growing international importance of space-based X-ray polarisation studies. In this context, the XPoSat mission is anticipated to contribute significantly to the scientific community’s understanding of celestial objects and their physics. The mission is also poised to play a pivotal role in building expertise in X-Ray polarimetry in India, providing a foundation for future advancements and fostering a collaborative network within the astronomy community.
Technical Details of the Mission
The 44.4-meter-tall PSLV rocket deployed the primary satellite into a 650 km Low Earth Orbit, where it will conduct initial observations and studies. Subsequently, scientists will bring the satellite to a lower altitude of about 350 km for additional experiments. This will involve the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3 (POEM-3) experiment, building on the success of the previous POEM-2 experiment conducted during the PSLV-C55 mission. The use of the PSLV-DL variant with a lift-off mass of 260 tonnes underscores the technical precision and capability of this mission.
Novel Experiments and Payloads
The XPoSat mission also incorporates novel experiments and payloads aimed at advancing scientific research and technological capabilities. The fourth stage of the rocket is configured as a 3-axis stabilized Orbital platform for conducting experiments. The payloads include the Radiation Shielding Experiment Module by TakeMe2Space, Women Engineered Satellite by LBS Institute of Technology for Women, BeliefSat (an amateur radio satellite) built by K J Somaiya Institute of Technology, Green Impulse Transmitter by Inspecity Space Labs Pvt Ltd, LEATTD — Launching Expeditions for Aspiring Technologies Technology Demonstrator by Dhruva Space Pvt Ltd, RUDRA 0.3HPGP and ARKA 200 developed by Bellatrix Aerospace Pvt Ltd, Dust Experiment (DEX) built by PRL, ISRO and Fuel Cell Power System and Si based High Energy cell built by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.
In conclusion, the XPoSat mission represents a significant leap in the field of space-based X-ray astronomy and polarimetry. With its cutting-edge technology, international collaboration, and a diverse range of experiments and payloads, this mission is set to unlock new frontiers in our understanding of cosmic events and celestial objects. As we look forward to the findings and insights derived from this mission, it is evident that XPoSat will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of astronomical research and scientific advancements.