Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences

First Advisor

Webster Cash

Second Advisor

Randall McEntaffer

Third Advisor

Andrew Hamilton


This thesis details the intent, design and results of an X-ray suborbital rocket payload whose scientific target was the Cygnus Loop Supernova Remnant. The payload consists of wire grid collimators, off-plane gratings arrays and gaseous electron multiplier (GEM) detectors. The system was designed for measurements in the 17-107 Å bandpass with a resolution up to ~60. This instrument was christened the Extended X-ray Off-plane Spectrometer (EXOS) and was launched on a Terrier-Black Brant rocket on November 13th, 2009 from White Sands Missile Range and obtained 340 seconds of useable scientific data. The emission is dominated by O VII and O VIII, including the He-like O VII triplet at ~22 Å. Another feature at ~45 Å is composed primarily of Si XI and Si XII. The best-fit model to this spectrum is an equilibrium plasma model at a temperature of log(T) = 6.4 (0.23 keV).