2019-2020 USAP Field Season
Dr. Henric S. Krawczynski
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
X-Calibur is a balloon-borne X-ray polarimetry mission that will observe mass-accreting black holes and neutron stars in the 25-60 kiloelectronVolts (keV) energy range. X-Calibur measures the linear polarization degree and angle – two new observables relating to the uniformity and orientation of the electric field carried by X-rays. This new capability of polarimetry allows X-Calibur to obtain geometrical information about objects that are too far away and too small to be imaged. The 2018-19 balloon flight will be used to observe four to ten sources and to measure their energy-dependent, hard X-ray polarization properties. The sources will include the accreting neutron star and X-ray pulsar Vela-X1, and the results will constrain the location and physical mechanisms that accelerate particles in Vela-X1.
Field Season Overview
Activities this season will focus exclusively on recovering the balloon payload that was deployed last year and landed approximately 725 miles east-south-east of the South Pole. ASC personnel will lead the recovery efforts. No science personnel are scheduled to deploy.