BackForwardInstrument:  RGS 

Instrument details
Acronym RGS
Full name Reflection Grating Spectrometer
Purpose X-ray measurement in the Interplanetary space
Short description Array of reflection gratings placed in the converging beam of an XMM-Newton telescope mirror module, exploiting two out of the three mirror modules. X-ray measured spectrum range 0.33-2.5 keV with resolving power E/ΔE ranging from 150 to 800.
Background RGS is complementary to the other two XMM-Newton instruments: the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC), that measures X-rays with higher spatial resolution and lower spectral resolution than RGS; and the Optical Monitor (OM), that provides complementary information on UV and VIS
Scanning Technique CCD viewing the interplanetary space in a 30 arcmin FOV addressing changing sectors as the satellite moves in the 40° inclination HEO.
Resolution 6 arcsec
Coverage / Cycle Large fraction of the interplanetary space each orbital period (48 h). Typical sampling interval presumably around 60 s
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency ESA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2000-03-10 to ≥2021
Last update: 2021-09-29
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Solar and space environment monitors
  • Space radiometer or spectrometer
WIGOS Subcomponents
  • Subcomponent 2
  • Heliospheric imager [from L1, GEO, LEO]
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • X-ray flux spectrum
Secondary mission objectives
  • Heliospheric image
Opportunity objectives
  • X-ray sky image
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
X-ray flux spectrum3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space viewing, high spectral resolution
X-ray sky image1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space viewing, spectrometry with high spatial resolution
Heliospheric image3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space viewing in the X-ray band (0.001-10 nm)