Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope

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Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) is a planned X-ray space observatory from China. The spacecraft is planned for launch in 2016.[1] It will be China's first astronomy satellite.[2] It is based on the JianBing 3 imagery reconnaissance satellite series platform.

The main scientific instrument is an array of 18 NaI(Tl)/CsI(na) slat-collimated "phoswich" scintillation detectors, collimated to 5.7°×1° overlapping fields of view.[3] The main NaI detectors have an area of 286 cm2 each, and cover the 20—200 keV energy range. Data analysis is planned to be by a direct algebraic method, "direct demodulation",[4] which has shown promise in de-convolving the raw data into images while preserving excellent angular and energy resolution.

The project, a joint collaboration of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Tsinghua University, has been under development since 2000.


  1. SpaceDaily, "China unveils ambitious space projects", Xinhua, 23 August 2012
  2. SpaceDaily, "China Focus: Timeline for China's space research revealed", Xinhua, 4 September 2012
  3. HXMT.cn, Configuration (Hard X-ray telescope design) c.2004
  4. HXMT.cn, The direct demodulation method (Imaging by direct deconvolution) c.2004

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