We have developed a Thomson X-ray Polarimeter (POLIX) for a Small Astronomy Satellite.

X-ray Polarimeter Experiment (POLIX):

The X-ray Polarimeter (POLIX) is approved to be launched on a dedicated satellite mission of ISRO, XPoSat.

Scientific Objectives:

X-ray polarimetry is an unexplored area in high energy astrophysics. The Crab nebula is the only X-ray source for which a definite polarisation measurement exists. X-ray polarisation measurements can give valuable insights about:

The Experiment:

This experiment will be suitable for X-ray polarisation measurement of hard X-ray sources like accretion powered pulsars, black hole X-ray binaries, active galactic nuclei, nonthermal supernova remnants, pulsar wind nebulae etc. For about 50 brightest hard X-ray sources, a Minimum Detectable Polarisation of 2-3% will be achieved. The instrument is made with a Lithium/Beryllium scatterer and surrounding proportional counter detectors and it is sensitive in the 5-30 keV energy band.

Development Status:

A laboratory unit of the instrument was built at RRI and X-ray polarisation measurements were successfully carried out with it.

See current development status of the Engineering Model of the Polarimeter.


Here is a not so recent newspaper report on POLIX.