24 July 2014 The Cryogenic AntiCoincidence detector for ATHENA: the progress towards the final pixel design
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“The Hot and Energetic Universe” is the scientific theme approved by the ESA SPC for a Large mission to be flown in the next ESA slot (2028th) timeframe. ATHENA is a space mission proposal tailored on this scientific theme. It will be the first X-ray mission able to perform the so-called “Integral field spectroscopy”, by coupling a high-resolution spectrometer, the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU), to a high performance optics so providing detailed images of its field of view (5’ in diameter) with an angular resolution of 5” and fine energy-spectra (2.5eV@E<7keV). The X-IFU is a kilo-pixel array based on TES (Transition Edge Sensor) microcalorimeters providing high resolution spectroscopy in the 0.2-12 keV range. Some goals is the detection of faint and diffuse sources as Warm Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM) or galaxies outskirts. To reach its challenging scientific aims, it is necessary to shield efficiently the X-IFU instrument against background induced by external particles: the goal is 0.005 cts/cm^2/s/keV. This scientific requirement can be met by using an active Cryogenic AntiCoincidence (CryoAC) detector placed very close to X-IFU (~ 1 mm below). This is shown by our GEANT4 simulation of the expected background at L2 orbit. The CryoAC is a TES based detector as the X-IFU sharing with it thermal and mechanical interfaces, so increasing the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the payload. It is a 2x2 array of microcalorimeter detectors made by Silicon absorber (each of about 80 mm^2 and 300 μm thick) and sensed by an Ir TES. This choice shows that it is possible to operate such a detector in the so-called athermal regime which gives a response faster than the X-IFU (< 30 μs), and low energy threshold (above few keV). Our consortium has developed and tested several samples, some of these also featured by the presence of Al-fins to efficiently collect the athermal phonons, and increased x-ray absorber area (up to 1 cm^2). Here the results of deep test related to one of the last sample produced (namely AC-S5), and steps to reach the final detector design will be discussed.
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Claudio Macculi, Claudio Macculi, Luigi Piro, Luigi Piro, Donatella Cea, Donatella Cea, Luca Colasanti, Luca Colasanti, Simone Lotti, Simone Lotti, Lorenzo Natalucci, Lorenzo Natalucci, Flavio Gatti, Flavio Gatti, Daniela Bagliani, Daniela Bagliani, Michele Biasotti, Michele Biasotti, Dario Corsini, Dario Corsini, Giulio Pizzigoni, Giulio Pizzigoni, Guido Torrioli, Guido Torrioli, Marco Barbera, Marco Barbera, Teresa Mineo, Teresa Mineo, Emanuele Perinati, Emanuele Perinati, } "The Cryogenic AntiCoincidence detector for ATHENA: the progress towards the final pixel design", Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 91445S (24 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054946; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2054946

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