High sensitivity balloon-borne hard X-ray/soft Gamma-ray polarimeter PoGOLite

T. Mizuno*, M. Arimoto, M. Axelsson, C. I. Björnsson, G. Bogaert, P. Carlson, W. Craig, Y. Fukazawa, S. Gunji, L. Hjalmarsdotter, T. Kamae, Y. Kanai, J. Kataoka, J. Katsuta, N. Kawai, M. Kiss, W. Klamra, S. Larsson, G. Madejski, C. Marini BettoloJ. Ng, M. Pearce, F. Ryde, H. Tajima, H. Takahash, T. Takahashi, T. Tanaka, T. Thurston, M. Ueno, G. Varner, H. Yoshida

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Polarized Gamma-ray Observer - Lightweight Version (PoGOLite) is a new balloon experiment capable of detecting 10% polarization from a 200 mCrab source in the 25-80 keV energy range in a single 6-hour flight for the first time. Polarization measurements of hard X-rays and soft gamma-rays are expected to provide a powerful probe into high-energy emission mechanisms as well as source geometries. PoGOLite uses Compton scattering and photo-absorption to measure polarization in an array of 217 well-type phoswich detector cells made of plastic and BGO scintillators. The adoption of a well-type phoswich counter concept and a thick polyethylene neutron shield provides a narrow field-of-view (1.25 msr), a large effective area (≥ 250 cm2 at 40-50 keV), a high modulation factor (more than 25 %) and the low background (∼100 mCrab) required to conduct high-sensitivity polarization measurements. Through tests in laboratories and accelerator facilities of a scaled-down prototype with the front-end electronics of flight design and an extensive study by Monte-Carlo simulation, we have demonstrated high instrument performance. PoGOLite will be ready for a first engineering flight in 2009 and a science flight in 2010, during which polarization signals from the Crab Nebula/pulsar, Cygnus X-1 and other objects will be observed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2007 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, NSS-MIC
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event2007 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, NSS-MIC - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: 2007 Oct 272007 Nov 3

Publication series

NameIEEE Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record
ISSN (Print)1095-7863


Conference2007 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, NSS-MIC
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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