REX: X-ray experiment on the water recovery rocket

This paper presents Rocket Experiment (REX) that was part of a dual-payload rocket campaign for NASA's sounding rocket Black Brant IX with water recovery technology. This mission was a suborbital sounding rocket flight that was launched and recovered on April 4, 2018 and targeted the Vela supernova remnant. The purpose of REX was to classify the Technology Readiness Level of onboard devices designed for space applications. The devices were two wide-field X-ray telescopes consisting of a combination of Lobster-Eye (LE) optics with an uncooled Timepix detector (256px×256px @ 55μm), and additional sensors. The first telescope uses a two-dimensional combination of LE modules with a focal length of 1m and a Field of View (FOV) of 1.0°×1.2° and operates in the energy range of 3–60keV. The second telescope was a one-dimensional LE with a focal length of 243mm and a FOV of 2.7°×8.0° for the energy range 3–40keV. The X-ray telescopes were supplemented by a camera in the visible spectrum with 1.280px×1,024px resolution, which was used to obtain images of the observed sources and to verify the resulting pointing of the rocket carrier. Other devices also include infrared array sensors and inertial measurement units tested for future small satellite missions. The data handler and communication system were built using the Robot Operating System, and both the system and the electronics were deployed and operated in-flight. The hardware was successfully recovered after the launch and the data were extracted.


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Work Title REX: X-ray experiment on the water recovery rocket
Open Access
  1. Martin Urban
  2. Ondřej Nentvich
  3. Tomáš Báča
  4. Ivo Veřtát
  5. Veronika Maršíková
  6. Daniela Doubravová
  7. Vladimír Dániel
  8. Adolf Inneman
  9. Ladislav Pína
  10. Ladislav Sieger
  11. Randall L. McEntaffer
  12. Ted B. Schultz
  13. Drew M. Miles
  14. James H. Tutt
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Acta Astronautica
Publication Date July 1, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited July 15, 2021




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added REXS.pdf
  • Added Creator Martin Urban
  • Added Creator Ondřej Nentvich
  • Added Creator Tomáš Báča
  • Added Creator Ivo Veřtát
  • Added Creator Veronika Maršíková
  • Added Creator Daniela Doubravová
  • Added Creator Vladimír Dániel
  • Added Creator Adolf Inneman
  • Added Creator Ladislav Pína
  • Added Creator Ladislav Sieger
  • Added Creator Randall L. McEntaffer
  • Added Creator Ted B. Schultz
  • Added Creator Drew M. Miles
  • Added Creator James H. Tutt
  • Published
  • Updated
  • Updated
  • Updated