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HXMT (Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope) is a collimated hard X-ray (20-200 keV) telescope with high sensitivity and spatial resolution. It is a collaboration between institutes in China (who will provide the spacecraft and main hard X-ray imager) and the UK (who will provide low and medium-energy imaging instruments).

The main scientific objectives of HXMT are:

  • to scan the Galactic Plane to find new transient sources and to monitor the known variable sources, and
  • to observe X-ray binaries to study the dynamics and emission mechanism in strong gravitational or magnetic fields.

There are three main payloads onboard HXMT, the high energy X-ray telescope (20-250 keV, 5100 cm²), the medium energy X-ray telescope (5-30 keV, 952 cm²), and the low energy X-ray telescope (1-15 keV, 384 cm²). All these three telescopes are collimated instruments. Using the direct demodulation method and scanning observations, HXMT can obtain X-ray images with high spatial resolution, while the large detection areas of these telescopes also allow pointed observations with high statistics and high signal to noise ratio. It is expected that HXMT will discover a large number of new transient X-ray sources and will study the temporal and spectral properties of accreting black hole and neutron star systems in more details than the previous X-ray missions.

HXMT was planned for launch in 2015, now delayed to 2017, on a CZ-2D (2) rocket.

Nation: China
Type / Application: Astronomy, X-Ray
Equipment: HE X-Ray telescope, ME X-Ray telescope, LE X-Ray telescope,
Propulsion: ?
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Mass: ~ 500 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
HXMT - 2017 Jq SLS-2 CZ-2D (2)