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Artist’s concept of Arcus after deployment of its optical boom

Arcus is a high resolution X-ray grating spectrometer mission that was proposed to NASA as a MIDEX in 2016 and selected by NASA for a Phase A concept study. It will consist of high resolution (R=2500) transmission gratings mounted behind silicon pore optics as originally developed for Athena.

The mission PI is Randall Smith (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), other contributing institutions are NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Ames Research Center, the University of Michigan, MIT, Pennsylvania State University, the Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial physics and ECAP. Although ARCUS was not selected for implementation, work in the consortium to prepare a new, high spectral resolution mission, continues.

At ECAP, we are responsible for the development of the instrument simulation pipeline (which is based on SIXTE) and of the data reduction pipelines.