CASTER - A scintillator-based Black Hole Finder Probe

William S. Paciesas, The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Gary Case, Louisiana State University
Michael L. Cherry, Louisiana State University
James Cravens, Southwest Research Institute
T. Greg Guzik, Louisiana State University
Kevin Hurley, Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley
R. Marc Kippen, Los Alamos National Laboratory
James M. Ryan, University of New Hampshire Durham
John M. Macri, University of New Hampshire Durham
Mark L. McConnell, University of New Hampshire Durham
Richard S. Miller, The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Bradley E. Schaefer, Louisiana State University
J. Greg Stacy, Louisiana State University
John P. Wefel, Louisiana State University
W. Thomas Vestrand, Los Alamos National Laboratory


The primary scientific mission of the Black Hole Finder Probe (BHFP), part of the NASA Beyond Einstein program, is to survey the local Universe for black holes over a wide range of mass and accretion rate. One approach to such a survey is a hard X-ray coded-aperture imaging mission operating in the 10-600 keV energy band, a spectral range that is considered to be especially useful in the detection of black hole sources. The development of new inorganic scintillator materials provides improved performance (for example, with regards to energy resolution and timing) that is well suited to the BHFP science requirements. Detection planes formed with these materials coupled with a new generation of readout devices represent a major advancement in the performance capabilities of scintillator-based gamma cameras. Here, we discuss the Coded Aperture Survey Telescope for Energetic Radiation (CASTER), a concept that represents a BHFP based on the use of the latest scintillator technology. © 2004 IEEE.