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24 July 2014 Report on the eROSITA camera system
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The eROSITA space telescope is currently developed for the determination of cosmological parameters and the equation of state of dark energy via evolution of clusters of galaxies. Furthermore, the instrument development was strongly motivated by the intention of a first imaging X-ray all-sky survey enabling measurements above 2 keV. eROSITA is a scientific payload on the Russian research satellite SRG. Its destination after launch is the Lagrangian point L2. The observational program of the observatory divides into an all-sky survey and pointed observations and takes in total about 7.5 years. The instrument comprises an array of 7 identical and parallel aligned telescopes. Each of the seven focal plane cameras is equipped with a PNCCD detector, an enhanced type of the XMM-Newton focal plane detector. This instrumentation permits spectroscopy and imaging of X-rays in the energy band from 0.3 keV to 10 keV with a field of view of 1.0 degree. The camera development is done at the Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial physics. Key component of each camera is the PNCCD chip. This silicon sensor is a back-illuminated, fully depleted and column-parallel type of charge coupled device. The image area of the 450 micron thick frame-transfer CCD comprises an array of 384 x 384 pixels, each with a size of 75 micron x 75 micron. Readout of the signal charge that is generated by an incident X-ray photon in the CCD is accomplished by an ASIC, the so-called eROSITA CAMEX. It provides 128 parallel analog signal processing channels but multiplexes the signals finally to one output which feeds the detector signals to a fast 14-bit ADC. The read noise of this system is equivalent to a noise charge of about 2.5 electrons rms. We achieve an energy resolution close to the theoretical limit given by Fano noise (except for very low energies). For example, the FWHM at an energy of 5.9 keV is approximately 140 eV. The complete camera assembly comprises the camera head with the detector as key component, the electronics for detector operation as well as data acquisition and the filter wheel unit. In addition to the on-chip light blocking filter directly deposited on the photon entrance window of the PNCCD, an external filter can be moved in front of the sensor, which serves also for contamination protection. Furthermore, an on-board calibration source emitting several fluorescence lines is accommodated on the filter wheel mechanism for the purpose of in-orbit calibration. Since the spectroscopic silicon sensors need cooling down to -95°C to mitigate best radiation damage effects, an elaborate cooling system is necessary. It consists of two different types of heat pipes linking the seven detectors to two radiators. Based on the tests with an engineering model, a flight design was developed for the camera and a qualification model has been built. The tests and the performance of this camera is presented in the following. In conclusion an outlook on the flight cameras is given.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Norbert Meidinger, Robert Andritschke, Walter Bornemann, Diogo Coutinho, Valentin Emberger, Olaf Hälker, Walter Kink, Benjamin Mican, Siegfried Müller, Daniel Pietschner, Peter Predehl, and Jonas Reiffers "Report on the eROSITA camera system", Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 91441W (24 July 2014);


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