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High-Resolution Source Spectra

NSSDCA ID: 1974-077A-03

Mission Name: Ariel 5
Principal Investigator:Sir Robert L. F. Boyd


This experiment consisted of a high-resolution, proportional-counter spectrometer with a 128-channel pulse-height analyzer, and responded to photons in the 2- to 30-keV energy range. The spectra of sources were examined in greater detail than had been previously possible. Line emission for certain elements (e.g., iron) could also be identified. The detector viewed in a direction parallel to the spin axis and, therefore, continued to observe the same piece of sky for as long as the position of the satellite spin axis remained unaltered. The experiment axis pointed approximately 2 deg off the spin axis, so that when observing a source also 2 deg off the spin axis the source passed in and out of the field of view during each rotation. This permitted the background flux to be sampled every spin period by recording the spectral information in four sets of locations, each corresponding to a quadrant of the spin cycle. The should have overcome the lack of information on possible fluctuations in the background flux during an orbit's integration. The experiment could also have been operated in a mode in which periodicities in the range typical of pulsar frequencies were detected.

Alternate Names

  • 2-30 KeV X-Ray Source Spectra
  • Ariel5/High-ResolutionSourceSpectra

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United Kingdom)


    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Mr. P. W. SanfordOther InvestigatorUniversity College, London
    Prof. A. Peter WillmoreOther InvestigatorUniversity of
    Sir Robert L. F. BoydPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity College, London
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