The ATHENA observatory is the second large-class ESA mission, in the context of the Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025, scheduled to be launched on 2028 at L2 orbit. One of the two on-board instruments is the X-IFU (X-ray Integral Field Unit): it is a TES-based kilo-pixels order array able to perform simultaneous high-grade energy spectroscopy (2.5 eV at 6 keV) and imaging over the 5 arcmin FoV. The X-IFU sensitivity is degraded by the particles background which is induced by primary protons of both solar and Cosmic Rays origin, and secondary electrons. The studies performed by Geant4 simulations depict a scenario where it is mandatory the use of reduction techniques that combine an active anticoincidence detector and a passive electron shielding to reduce the background expected in L2 orbit down to the goal level of 0.005 cts/cm<sup>2</sup>/s/keV, so enabling the characterization of faint or diffuse sources (e.g. WHIM or Galaxy cluster outskirts). From the detector point of view this is possible by adopting a Cryogenic AntiCoincidence (CryoAC) placed within a proper optimized environment surrounding the X-IFU TES array. It is a 4-pixels detector made of wide area Silicon absorbers sensed by Ir TESes, and put at a distance < 1 mm below the TES-array. On October 2015 the X-IFU Phase A program has been kicked-off, and about the CryoAC is at present foreseen on early 2017 the delivery of the DM1 (Demonstration Model 1) to the FPA development team for integration, which is made of 1 pixel “bridgessuspended” that will address the final design of the CryoAC. Both the background studies and the detector development work is on-going to provide confident results about the expected residual background at the TES-array level, and the single pixel design to produce a detector for testing activity on 2016/2017. Here we will provide an overview of the CryoAC program, discussing some details about the background assessment having impact on the CryoAC design, the last single pixel characterization, the structural issues, followed by some programmatic aspects.
The ATHENA observatory is the second large-class mission in ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025, with a launch foreseen in 2028 towards the L2 orbit. The mission addresses the science theme “The Hot and Energetic Universe”, by coupling a high-performance X-ray Telescope with two complementary focal-plane instruments. One of these is the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU): it is a TES based kilo-pixel order array able to provide spatially resolved high-resolution spectroscopy (2.5 eV at 6 keV) over a 5 arcmin FoV.<p> </p> The X-IFU sensitivity is degraded by the particles background expected at L2 orbit, which is induced by primary protons of both galactic and solar origin, and mostly by secondary electrons. To reduce the background level and enable the mission science goals, a Cryogenic Anticoincidence (CryoAC) detector is placed < 1 mm below the TES array. It is a 4- pixel TES based detector, with wide Silicon absorbers sensed by Ir:Au TESes.<p> </p> The CryoAC development schedule foresees by Q1 2017 the delivery of a Demonstration Model (DM) to the X-IFU FPA development team. The DM is a single-pixel detector that will address the final design of the CryoAC. It will verify some representative requirements at single-pixel level, especially the detector operation at 50 mK thermal bath and the threshold energy at 20 keV. <p> </p>To reach the final DM design we have developed and tested the AC-S7 prototype, with 1 cm<sup>2</sup> absorber area sensed by 65 Ir TESes. Here we will discuss the pulse analysis of this detector, which has been illuminated by the 60 keV line from a <sup>241</sup>Am source. <p> </p>First, we will present the analysis performed to investigate pulses timings and spectrum, and to disentangle the athermal component of the pulses from the thermal one. Furthermore, we will show the application to our dataset of an alternative method of pulse processing, based upon Principal Component Analysis (PCA). This kind of analysis allow us to recover better energy spectra than achievable with traditional methods, improving the evaluation of the detector threshold energy, a fundamental parameter characterizing the CryoAC particle rejection efficiency.
The new monolithic micro-bridged Cryogenic Anticoincidence for the X-IFU instrument of ATHENA has been designed. It is a single pixel made of silicon with Ir-Au TES array that respond to all the requirements of the recently closed design review phase. It is the natural prosecutor of the previous version without micromachined bridges (predemonstration model) It has shape has been fully characterized and its data were used to improve the new design. In this paper, we report the overview of this work of fabrication test and design. A preliminary delivery test with 60 keV gamma ray is also described.
The design phase of the CryoAC DM for the ATHENA X-IFU has concerned numerical simulations to exploit different fabrication possibilities. The mechanical simulations have accounted for the peculiar detector structure: 4 silicon chips asymmetrically suspended by means of 4 microbridges each. A preliminary study was performed to analyze the response to acceleration spectra in the frequency domain, shocks and time domain random displacement, prior to a real vibration test campaign. EM simulations to spot unwanted magnetic fields have been conducted as well. In this work we will show the latest advance in the design of the new detectors, showing the main results coming from various simulations.
“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.
Large area spiderweb bolometers of 8 mm diameter and a mesh size of 250 μm are fabricated in order to couple with approximately the first 20 modes of a multimode EM cavity at about 140 GHz. The sensor is a Ti/Au/Ti 3 layer TES with Tc tuned in the 330-380 mK and 2 mK transition width. We describe the detector design and the fabrication process, early TES electro-thermal measurements. We also report optical coupling measurement and show the multimode coupling.