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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8561830, 7 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8561830
Research Article

Mission Overview and Initial Observation Results of the X-Ray Pulsar Navigation-I Satellite

1Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space Technology, Beijing 100094, China
2China Academy of Space Technology, Beijing 100094, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Liangwei Huang; nc.balsxq@iewgnailgnauh

Received 28 March 2017; Revised 21 May 2017; Accepted 7 June 2017; Published 6 July 2017

Academic Editor: Linda L. Vahala

Copyright © 2017 Xinyuan Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The newly launched X-ray pulsar navigation-I (XPNAV-1) is an experimental satellite of China that is designed for X-ray pulsar observation. This paper presents the initial observation results and aims to recover the Crab pulsar’s pulse profile to verify the X-ray instrument’s capability of observing pulsars in space. With the grazing-incidence focusing type instrument working at the soft X-ray band (0.5–10 keV), up to 162 segments of observations of the Crab pulsar are fulfilled, and more than 5 million X-ray events are recorded. Arrival times of photons are corrected to the solar system barycentre, and the 33 ms pulse period is sought out for Crab. Epoch folding of all the corrected photon times generates the refined pulse profile of Crab. The characteristic two-peak profile proves that the Crab pulsar has been clearly seen, so that the conclusion is made that XPNAV-1’s goal of being capable of observing pulsars is achieved.