Lobster Eye All-Sky Monitor

This page is only a draft, a more detailed page is being prepared

Short Overview

Scanning example X-ray sky is enormously variable, changing in time scales from seconds to years. There exist today X-ray all-sky monitors (ASMs) only with limited sensitivity and/or imaging capabilities. Hence, the goal is to create an instrument capable of monitoring soft X-ray sources at various time scales with better sensitivity (~10-12 erg/s/cm2, ~100 x better than RXTE - a typical current X-ray ASM) and better angular resolution (~4 arcmin, ~3 x better than BeppoSAX WFC).

There exist several approaches to accomplish the mission. Generally, we believe, the use of focusing optics is a necessity. The Multi-Foil optics (MFO), which is part of our proposal, is one of the realistic choices and deserves our attention.

Typical MFO consist of two perpendicular sets of thin reflecting plates coated with various coatings, creating an optics proposed originally by Angel, 1979, and Schmidt, 1975. Optic, together with the detector, necessary electronics, and the container will create a single module. Typical module will have ~6x6 deg2 field of view (FOV). Number of modules, if correctly arranged, will create a composite FOV up to 180x6 deg2. In scanning mode, if such a FOV is achieved, entire sky will be surveyed several times per day.

Two main outputs of the proposed missions are expected. First, the discovery of new sources and/or the discovery of sudden flux changes for already known sources, providing an "alert" system for the narrow field instruments at various wavelengths. Hence, the multispectral studies and the prompt emission studies will be possible. Gamma-ray bursts, X-ray flashes, early supernova X-ray emission (X-ray flash), X-ray binaries, and cataclysmic variables (CVs) will typically be a trigger.

Second, data gathered during the whole mission life-time will provide a unique source of light curves and/or rough spectra changes for a large number of sources. The light curves will be sampled Related sources are active galactic nuclei (AGN), X-ray binaries, CVs, and stellar coronal sources.