News & Events

Antonia Hubbard (Northwestern)

Event Details

McDonald Institute Seminar Series

Location: Rm 501 Stirling Hall, Queen's University, Kingston ON

Date: November 15, 2018

Time: 2:30pm - 3:30pm

1st Flight Engineering Results and Future Dark Matter Searches with the Micro-X Sounding Rocket

The Micro-X Microcalorimeter X-Ray Imaging Rocket is a sounding rocket mission that launched on July 22, 2018. This was the first operation of high resolution Transition Edge Sensors in space, opening up sensitivity to new physics. Micro-X is designed to observe Supernova Remnants and BSM X-ray interactions, like those proposed from keV-scale sterile neutrino dark matter. I will present the engineering results of the first flight, with special emphasis on the successful performance of the cryostat and electronics within the challenging conditions of a sounding rocket flight. While a rocket pointing error led to minimal time on-target, the science instrument operated as expected, and data from this flight will be used to establish background flux limits and as calibration data in preparation for future flights. I will additionally present the future of the instrument for dark matter searches, and the unique sensitivity it holds in resolving the 3.5 keV line controversy.