Services and Projects

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GamingA: a Proposal for Horizon 2020

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Image Credit: NASA / GSFC SVS / Dana Berry

3D Virtual Reality: Highest-Resolution Terrain Map of the Moon.

The X-ray Sky View from the Apollo 15.

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    The objective is to use for the first time the historic observations from Apollo 15 to obtain an all-sky view of the X-ray sky in Summer 1971, potentially identifying new transient sources. The activity is based on data from the X-ray instrument onboard Apollo 15. During the journey from the Moon back to Earth, pointed observations were made of the X- ray sky (such as Cyg X-1 and Sco X-1). During the last day of mission (in August 1971), the instrument was left operating all the time. Due to the rotation (barbecue-roll) of the Command/Service Module (CSM) during the latter period, the field-of-view of the instrument crossed among bright X-ray sources, like Sco X-1 and GX 5–1 and possible transient X-ray sources active at the time. The instrument consisted not only of an X-ray detector assembly (sensitive in the 0.75-6 keV X-ray energy band), but also a Solar X-ray monitor (operating in the 1–3 keV energy band) which was mounted on the opposite side of the CSM. Using the currently known attitude and positional information of the CSM, one can devise a sort of "all- sky" X-ray map based on the X-ray light curves of the detector assembly and Solar monitor during the journey back to Earth. The information on the X-ray state of the observed sources can be used to compare with other (fragmented) observations around the same time.


Software Tools for Time-Series and Spectral Analysis.

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    In the professional astrophyisics community, there are a number of official software packages for X-ray spectral fitting (e.g., XSPEC, ISIS, Sherpa). Such widely-used, flexible, and standard software packages did not exist for X-ray timing, so it was mostly done with custom, proprietary software. During the 2016 workshop The X-ray Spectral-Timing Revolution, TIMELAB together with a group of X-ray astronomers and developers decided on a common platform to develop a new software package. This software package, Stingray, provides the basis for developing spectral-timing analysis tools, and is structured with the Astropy guidelines for modern open-source scientific programming. Stingray has a scripting interface (HENDRICS), an affiliated GUI (DAVE), and a public API for power-users. Our goal is to provide the community with a package that eases the learning curve for advanced spectral-timing techniques, with a correct statistical framework.

    Join our open source community: Stingray

    CLIENTS, PARTNERS, COLLABORATIONS: European Space Agency; New York University; University of Washington; INAF/Observatory of Cagliari; University of Amsterdam.

GEANT4 Simulations of X-ray Detectors to Image Explosive Material in Buried Landmines

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Photo courtesy of 4M Analytics

    From Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor: "During and after conflicts, these weapons can be found on roads, footpaths, farmer’s fields, forests, deserts, along borders, in and surrounding houses and schools, and in other places where people carry out their daily activities. They can deny access to food, water, and other basic needs, and inhibit freedom of movement, limiting people’s ability to participate in education or access medical care. Mine and ERW contamination may also prevent the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced people, and hamper the delivery of humanitarian aid. Mine and ERW-affected countries incur costs related to clearing mines, destroying stockpiles, and providing assistance to mine and ERW survivors. More generally, development and post-conflict reconstruction are hindered when access to resources is limited and when people sustain serious, long-term injuries due to mines and ERW."

    Within the large number of activities of mine clearance, we focus our efforts on the detection of landmines. Given the number of different materials used to build the cage of many antipersonal landmines, which includes metal but also plastic, depending on the mine it might not be detectable with common instruments like metal detectors. Therefore, we are focusing our research on the detection of its explosive charge. Using GEANT4, we are simulating an X-ray Backscatter Coded Mask Imager with a CZT detector to study its possible use as imager of explosive material in buried landmine.

    © 2020 Timelab Technologies Ltd.