Soft gamma-ray detector for the ASTRO-H mission

Shin Watanabe*, Hiroyasu Tajima, Yasushi Fukazawa, Roger Blandford, Teruaki Enoto, Jun Kataoka, Madoka Kawaharada, Motohide Kokubun, Philippe Laurent, François Lebrun, Olivier Limousin, Greg Madejski, Kazuo Makishima, Tsunefumi Mizuno, Takeshi Nakamori, Kazuhiro Nakazawa, Kunishiro Mori, Hirokazu Odaka, Masanori Ohno, Masayuki OhtaGoro Sato, Rie Sato, Shin'ichiro Takeda, Hiromitsu Takahashi, Tadayuk Takahashi, Takaaki Tanaka, Makoto Tashiro, Yukikatsu Terada, Hideki Uchiyama, Yasunobu Uchiyama, Shinya Yamada, Yoichi Yatsu, Daisuke Yonetoku, Takayuki Yuasa

*Corresponding author for this work

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

34 Citations (Scopus)


ASTRO-H is the next generation JAXA X-ray satellite, intended to carry instruments with broad energy coverage and exquisite energy resolution. The Soft Gamma-ray Detector (SGD) is one of ASTRO-H instruments and will feature wide energy band (60-600 keV) at a background level 10 times better than the current instruments on orbit. The SGD is complimentary to ASTRO-H's Hard X-ray Imager covering the energy range of 5-80 keV. The SGD achieves low background by combining a Compton camera scheme with a narrow field-of-view active shield where Compton kinematics is utilized to reject backgrounds. The Compton camera in the SGD is realized as a hybrid semiconductor detector system which consists of silicon and CdTe (cadmium telluride) sensors. Good energy resolution is afforded by semiconductor sensors, and it results in good background rejection capability due to better constraints on Compton kinematics. Utilization of Compton kinematics also makes the SGD sensitive to the gamma-ray polarization, opening up a new window to study properties of gamma-ray emission processes. In this paper, we will present the detailed design of the SGD and the results of the final prototype developments and evaluations. Moreover, we will also present expected performance based on the measurements with prototypes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012
Subtitle of host publicationUltraviolet to Gamma Ray
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2012 Jul 12012 Jul 6

Publication series

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


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray


  • CdTe
  • Compton telescope
  • Gamma-ray
  • Polarimeter
  • Semiconductor detector
  • Silicon Detector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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