24 July 2014 The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) for Athena
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Abstract
Athena is designed to implement the Hot and Energetic Universe science theme selected by the European Space Agency for the second large mission of its Cosmic Vision program. The Athena science payload consists of a large aperture high angular resolution X-ray optics (2 m2 at 1 keV) and twelve meters away, two interchangeable focal plane instruments: the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) and the Wide Field Imager. The X-IFU is a cryogenic X-ray spectrometer, based on a large array of Transition Edge Sensors (TES), offering 2:5 eV spectral resolution, with ~5" pixels, over a field of view of 50 in diameter. In this paper, we present the X-IFU detector and readout electronics principles, some elements of the current design for the focal plane assembly and the cooling chain. We describe the current performance estimates, in terms of spectral resolution, effective area, particle background rejection and count rate capability. Finally, we emphasize on the technology developments necessary to meet the demanding requirements of the X-IFU, both for the sensor, readout electronics and cooling chain.
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Laurent Ravera, Didier Barret, Jan Willem den Herder, Luigi Piro, Rodolphe Clédassou, Etienne Pointecouteau, Philippe Peille, Francois Pajot, Monique Arnaud, Claude Pigot, Lionel Duband, Christophe Cara, Roland H. den Hartog, Luciano Gottardi, Hiroki Akamatsu, Jan van der Kuur, Henk J. van Weers, Jelle de Plaa, Claudia Macculi, Simone Lotti, Guido Torrioli, Flavio Gatti, Luca Valenziano, Marco Barbera, Xavier Barcons, María Teresa Ceballos, Lourdes Fàbrega, José Miguel Mas-Hesse, Mathew J. Page, Phillip R. Guttridge, Richard Willingale, Stéphane Paltani, Ludovic Genolet, Enrico Bozzo, Gregor Rauw, Etienne Renotte, Jörn Wilms, Christian Schmid, "The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) for Athena", Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 91442L (24 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055884; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055884
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