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  • Publication
    Developing a method for soft gamma-ray Laue lens assembly and calibration
    Laue lenses constitute a promising option for concentrating soft gamma rays with a large collection area and reasonable focal lengths. In astronomy they could lead to increased telescope sensitivity by one to two orders of magnitude, in particular for faint nuclear gamma-ray lines, but also for continua like hard X-ray tails from a variety of compact objects. Other fields like Homeland security and nuclear medicine share the same need for more sensitive gamma-ray detection systems and could find applications for gamma-ray focusing optics. There are two primary challenges for developing Laue lenses: the search for high-reflectivity and reproducible crystals, and the development of a method to accurately orient and fix the thousands of crystals constituting a lens. In this paper we focus on the second topic. We used our dedicated X-ray beamline and Laue lens assembly station to build a breadboard lens made of 15 crystals. This allowed us to test our tools and methods, as well as our simulation code and calibration procedure. Although some critical points were identified, the results are very encouraging, with a crystal orientation distribution lower than 10′′, as required to build a Laue lens telescope dedicated to the study of Type Ia supernovae (30-m focal length). This breadboard lens represents an important step towards raising the technology readiness level of Laue lenses.
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