X-ray Detectors

DTU Space develops advanced detectors for x-ray and gamma-ray radiation. These detectors are used to study both astrophysical sources and the Earth's atmosphere from space-based platforms.

DTU Space develops solid state detectors based on semi-conducting materials made from heavy elements, which are especially suited to detecting high energy x-rays and gamma-rays. Together with modern readout electronics the detectors make compact systems that are ideal for space instrumentation. Another advantage of these detectors is that they work at room temperature, unlike conventional silicon- or germanium-based detectors which have to be strongly cooled.

Currently, the most promising semi-conductor materials are compounds based on either cadmium-tellurium (CdTe) or cadmium-zink-tellurium (CdZnTe). Detector development at the Institute, based on these materials, has produced various instrument systems used to study astrophysical objects in space, as well as to observe x-rays and gamma-rays in the Earth's atmosphere.

At the moment DTU Space is developing the Modular X- and Gamma-ray Sensor (MXGS) for the ESA-supported ASIM instrument, which will be mounted on the International Space Station in 2014. ASIM will study electrical discharge activity in the Earth's atmosphere from space.