From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
ESA’s next large X-ray mission ATHENA is designed to address the Cosmic Vision science theme 'The Hot and Energetic Universe'. It will provide answers to the two key astrophysical questions how does ordinary matter assemble into the large-scale structures we see today and how do black holes grow and shape the Universe. The ATHENA spacecraft will be equipped with two focal plane cameras, a Wide Field Imager (WFI) and an X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU). The WFI instrument is optimized for state-of-the-art resolution spectroscopy over a large field of view of 40 amin x 40 amin and high count rates up to and beyond 1 Crab source intensity. The cryogenic X-IFU camera is designed for high-spectral resolution imaging. Both cameras share alternately a mirror system based on silicon pore optics with a focal length of 12 m and large effective area of about 2 m2 at an energy of 1 keV. Although the mission is still in phase A, i.e. studying the feasibility and developing the necessary technology, the definition and development of the instrumentation made already significant progress. The herein described WFI focal plane camera covers the energy band from 0.2 keV to 15 keV with 450 μm thick fully depleted back-illuminated silicon active pixel sensors of DEPFET type. The spatial resolution will be provided by one million pixels, each with a size of 130 μm x 130 μm. The time resolution requirement for the WFI large detector array is 5 ms and for the WFI fast detector 80 μs. The large effective area of the mirror system will be completed by a high quantum efficiency above 90% for medium and higher energies. The status of the various WFI subsystems to achieve this performance will be described and recent changes will be explained here.
Norbert Meidinger, Marco Barbera, Valentin Emberger, Maria Fürmetz, Markus Manhart, Johannes Müller-Seidlitz, Kirpal Nandra, Markus Plattner, Arne Rau, and Wolfgang Treberspurg, "The Wide Field Imager instrument for Athena," Proc. SPIE 10397, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX, 103970V (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 08, 2017; Published: 29 August 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2271844.
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