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Exploring the Capabilities of the Anti-Coincidence Shield of the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) Spectrometer to Study Solar Flares

R. Rodríguez-Gasén 1, 2 J. Kiener 3 V. Tatischeff 3 N. Vilmer 2 C. Hamadache 3 K.-L. Klein 2
1 CSNSM AN
CSNSM - Centre de Spectrométrie Nucléaire et de Spectrométrie de Masse, CSNSM - Centre de Sciences Nucléaires et de Sciences de la Matière
Abstract : The International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) is a European Space Agency hard X-ray/γ-ray observatory for astrophysics, covering photon energies from 15 keV to 10 MeV. It was launched in 2002, and since then the Bismuth Germanate (BGO) detectors of the Anti-Coincidence Shield (ACS) of the Spectrometer on INTEGRAL (SPI) have detected many hard X-ray (HXR) bursts from the Sun, producing light curves at photon energies above ≈ 100 keV. The spacecraft has a highly elliptical orbit, providing long uninterrupted observing (about 90 % of the orbital period) with nearly constant background due to the shorter time needed to cross Earth's radiation belts. However, because of technical constraints, INTEGRAL cannot be pointed at the Sun, and high-energy solar photons are always detected in nonstandard observation conditions. To make the data useable for solar studies, we have undertaken a major effort to specify the observing conditions through Monte Carlo simulations of the response of ACS for several selected flares. We checked the performance of the model employed for the Monte Carlo simulations using the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) observations for the same sample of solar flares. We conclude that although INTEGRAL was not designed to perform solar observations, ACS is a useful instrument for solar-flare research. In particular, its relatively large effective area allows determining good-quality HXR/γ-ray light curves for X- and M-class solar flares and, in some cases, probably also for C-class flares.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 10, 2014 - 1:47:38 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 19, 2020 - 4:52:02 AM

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R. Rodríguez-Gasén, J. Kiener, V. Tatischeff, N. Vilmer, C. Hamadache, et al.. Exploring the Capabilities of the Anti-Coincidence Shield of the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) Spectrometer to Study Solar Flares. Solar Physics, Springer Verlag, 2013, pp.268. ⟨10.1007/S11207-013-0418-1⟩. ⟨in2p3-00926851⟩

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