19 July 2016 The focal plane assembly for the Athena X-ray Integral Field Unit instrument
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Abstract
This paper summarizes a preliminary design concept for the focal plane assembly of the X-ray Integral Field Unit on the Athena spacecraft, an imaging microcalorimeter that will enable high spectral resolution imaging and point-source spectroscopy. The instrument's sensor array will be a ~ 3840-pixel transition edge sensor (TES) microcalorimeter array, with a frequency domain multiplexed SQUID readout system allowing this large-format sensor array to be operated within the thermal constraints of the instrument's cryogenic system. A second TES detector will be operated in close proximity to the sensor array to detect cosmic rays and secondary particles passing through the sensor array for off-line coincidence detection to identify and reject events caused by the in-orbit high-energy particle background. The detectors, operating at 55 mK, or less, will be thermally isolated from the instrument cryostat's 2 K stage, while shielding and filtering within the FPA will allow the instrument's sensitive sensor array to be operated in the expected environment during both on-ground testing and in-flight operation, including straylight from the cryostat environment, low-energy photons entering through the X-ray aperture, low-frequency magnetic fields, and high-frequency electric fields.
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B. D. Jackson, H. van Weers, J. van der Kuur, R. den Hartog, H. Akamatsu, A. Argan, S. R. Bandler, M. Barbera, D. Barret, M. P. Bruijn, J. A. Chervenak, J. Dercksen, F. Gatti, L. Gottardi, D. Haas, J.-W. den Herder, C. A. Kilbourne, M. Kiviranta, T. Lam-Trong, B.-J. van Leeuwen, C. Macculi, L. Piro, S. J. Smith, "The focal plane assembly for the Athena X-ray Integral Field Unit instrument", Proc. SPIE 9905, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 99052I (19 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232544; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232544
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