STROBE-X: A probe-class mission for x-ray spectroscopy and timing on timescales from microseconds to years

Paul S. Ray, Zaven Arzoumanian, Søren Brandt, Eric Burns, Deepto Chakrabarty, Marco Feroci, Keith C. Gendreau, Olivier Gevin, Margarita Hernanz, Peter Jenke, Steven Kenyon, José Luis Gálvez, Thomas J. MacCarone, Takashi Okajima, Ronald A. Remillard, Stéphane Schanne, Chris Tenzer, Andrea Vacchi, Colleen A. Wilson-Hodge, Berend WinterSilvia Zane, David R. Ballantyne, Enrico Bozzo, Laura W. Brenneman, Edward Cackett, Alessandra De Rosa, Adam Goldstein, DIeter H. Hartmann, Michael McDonald, Abigail L. Stevens, John A. Tomsick, Anna L. Watts, Kent S. Wood, Abderahmen Zoghbi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We describe the Spectroscopic Time-Resolving Observatory for Broadband Energy X-rays (STROBE-X), a probeclass mission concept that will provide an unprecedented view of the X-ray sky, performing timing and spectroscopy over both a broad energy band (0.2-30 keV) and a wide range of timescales from microseconds to years. STROBE-X comprises two narrow-field instruments and a wide field monitor. The soft or low-energy band (0.2-12 keV) is covered by an array of lightweight optics (3-m focal length) that concentrate incident photons onto small solid-state detectors with CCD-level (85-175 eV) energy resolution, 100 ns time resolution, and low background rates. This technology has been fully developed for NICER and will be scaled up to take advantage of the longer focal length of STROBE-X. The higher-energy band (2-30 keV) is covered by large-area, collimated silicon drift detectors that were developed for the European LOFT mission concept. Each instrument will provide an order of magnitude improvement in effective area over its predecessor (NICER in the soft band and RXTE in the hard band). Finally, STROBE-X offers a sensitive wide-field monitor (WFM), both to act as a trigger for pointed observations of X-ray transients and also to provide high duty-cycle, high time-resolution, and high spectral-resolution monitoring of the variable X-ray sky. The WFM will boast approximately 20 times the sensitivity of the RXTE All-Sky Monitor, enabling multi-wavelength and multi-messenger investigations with a large instantaneous field of view. This mission concept will be presented to the 2020 Decadal Survey for consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018
Subtitle of host publicationUltraviolet to Gamma Ray
EditorsShouleh Nikzad, Jan-Willem A. Den Herder, Kazuhiro Nakazawa
ISBN (Print)9781510619517
StatePublished - 2018
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 15 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • X-ray
  • black holes
  • collimators
  • neutron stars
  • silicon drift detectors


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