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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems • Open Access

Wide field imager instrument for the Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics
Author(s): Norbert Meidinger; Kirpal Nandra; Markus Plattner; Matteo Porro; Arne Rau; Andrea Santangelo; Chris Tenzer; Jörn Wilms

Paper Abstract

The Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics (Athena) has been selected for ESA’s L2 mission, scheduled for launch in 2028. It will provide the necessary capabilities to achieve the ambitious goals of the science theme “The Hot and Energetic Universe.” Athena’s x-ray mirrors will be based on silicon pore optics technology with a 12-m focal length. Two complementary focal plane camera systems are foreseen, which can be moved interchangeably to the focus of the mirror system: the actively shielded micro-calorimeter spectrometer X-IFU and the wide field imager (WFI). The WFI camera will provide an unprecedented survey power through its large field of view of 40 arc min with a high count-rate capability (∼1  Crab). It permits a state-of-the-art energy resolution in the energy band of 0.1 to 15 keV during the entire mission lifetime (e.g., full width at half maximum ≤150  eV at 6 keV). This performance is accomplished by a set of depleted P-channel field effect transistor (DEPFET) active pixel sensor matrices with a pixel size well suited to the angular resolution of 5 arc sec (on-axis) of the mirror system. Each DEPFET pixel is a combined detector-amplifier structure with a MOSFET integrated onto a fully depleted 450-μm-thick silicon bulk. This manuscript will summarize the current instrument concept and design, the status of the technology development, and the envisaged baseline performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 December 2014
PDF: 8 pages
J. Ast. Inst. Sys. 1(1) 014006 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.1.1.014006
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 1, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Norbert Meidinger, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Kirpal Nandra, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Markus Plattner, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Matteo Porro, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Arne Rau, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Andrea Santangelo, Eberhard Karls Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Chris Tenzer, Eberhard Karls Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Jörn Wilms, Friedrich-Alexander-Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)


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