The focusing optics x-ray solar imager: FOXSI

Säm Krucker, Steven Christe, Lindsay Glesener, Steve McBride, Paul Turin, David Glaser, Pascal Saint-Hilaire, Gregory Delory, R. P. Lin, Mikhail Gubarev, Brian Ramsey, Yukikatsu Terada, Shin Nosuke Ishikawae, Motohide Kokubun, Shinya Saito, Tadayuki Takahashi, Shin Watanabe, Kazuhiro Nakazawa, Hiroyasu Tajima, Satoshi MasudaTakashi Minoshima, Masumi Shomojo

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

21 Scopus citations


The Focusing Optics x-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) is a sounding rocket payload funded under the NASA Low Cost Access to Space program to test hard x-ray focusing optics and position-sensitive solid state detectors for solar observations. Today's leading solar hard x-ray instrument, the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) provides excellent spatial (2 arcseconds) and spectral (1 keV) resolution. Yet, due to its use of indirect imaging, the derived images have a low dynamic range (<30) and sensitivity. These limitations make it difficult to study faint x-ray sources in the solar corona which are crucial for understanding the solar flare acceleration process. Grazing-incidence x-ray focusing optics combined with position-sensitive solid state detectors can overcome both of these limitations enabling the next breakthrough in understanding particle acceleration in solar flares. The FOXSI project is led by the Space Science Laboratory at the University of California. The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, with experience from the HERO balloon project, is responsible for the grazing-incidence optics, while the Astro H team (JAXA/ISAS) will provide double-sided silicon strip detectors. FOXSI will be a pathfinder for the next generation of solar hard x-ray spectroscopic imagers. Such observatories will be able to image the non-thermal electrons within the solar flare acceleration region, trace their paths through the corona, and provide essential quantitative measurements such as energy spectra, density, and energy content in accelerated electrons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy IV
StatePublished - 2009
EventOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 4 2009Aug 6 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Electroform-nickel replication
  • Grazing-incidence optics
  • High-energy x-ray optics
  • Silicon strip detectors
  • Solar flares
  • Solar physics
  • Sounding rocket payload


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