India’s Pioneering X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite, XPoSat, is Unveiled by ISRO

The ambitious plan to launch the nation’s first X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) was recently announced by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). By investigating the polarization of intense X-ray sources, this ground-breaking mission hopes to add a new facet to X-ray astronomy. We anticipate that XoPoSat will significantly advance our knowledge of cosmic X-Ray sources through its focus on simultaneous studies of temporal, spectral, and polarization features.

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With a low inclination of about six degrees and a non-sun synchronous orbit of about 650 km in height, the XPoSat spacecraft is intended for observation from Low Earth Orbit. With its two scientific payloads, the mission enables in-depth analyses of luminous X-ray sources. The spacecraft is anticipated to conduct observations during the eclipse period—when the spacecraft passes through Earth’s shadow—during its roughly five-year mission.

Payload details

The Polarimeter Instrument in X-Rays (POLIX), created by the Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bengaluru, with assistance from several ISRO centers, is the main payload of XPoSat. POLIX is intended to measure polarimetry parameters, i.e., the polarization angle and degree, in photons originating from astronomical sources that fall within the medium X-ray energy range of 8-30 keV. This device is essential to allowing in-depth research on X-ray polarization, an aspect that was not fully investigated in earlier Indian space-based X-Ray astronomy missions.

Launch details

The XPoSat mission will be launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota. This launch vehicle has a proven track record of reliability, making it an ideal choice for deploying scientific payloads into orbit.

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