The NEAR-shoemaker x-ray/gamma-ray spectrometer experiment: Overview and lessons learned

J. I. Trombka, L. R. Nittler, R. D. Starr, L. G. Evans, T. J. McCoy, W. V. Boynton, T. H. Burbine, J. Brückner, P. Gorenstein, S. W. Squyres, R. C. Reedy, J. O. Goldsten, L. Lim, K. Hurley, P. E. Clark, S. R. Floyd, T. P. McClanahan, E. McCartney, J. Branscomb, J. S. BhangooI. Mikheeva, M. E. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The near-Earth asteroid rendezvous (NEAR)-Shoemaker remote-sensing x-ray/gamma-ray spectrometer (XGRS) completed more than a year of operation in orbit and on the surface of 433 Eros. Elemental compositions for a number of regions on the surface of Eros have been derived from analyses of the characteristic x-ray and gamma-ray emission spectra. The NEAR XGRS detection system was included as part of the interplanetary network (IPN) for the detection and localization of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Preliminary results for both the elemental composition of the surface of Eros and the detection of GRBs have been obtained. In addition to the science results, the design and operation of the NEAR XGRS is considered. Significant information important for the design of future remote sensing XGRS systems has been obtained and evaluated. We focus on four factors that became particularly critical during NEAR: (1) overall spacecraft design, (2) selection of materials, (3) increase of the signal-to-noise ratio and (4) knowledge of the incident solar x-ray spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1616
Number of pages12
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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