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Proceedings Paper

Development of the wide field imager for Athena
Author(s): Norbert Meidinger; Josef Eder; Maria Fürmetz; Kirpal Nandra; Daniel Pietschner; Markus Plattner; Arne Rau; Jonas Reiffers; Rafael Strecker; Marco Barbera; Thorsten Brand; Jörn Wilms
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Paper Abstract

The WFI (Wide Field Imager) instrument is planned to be one of two complementary focal plane cameras on ESA’s next X-ray observatory Athena. It combines unprecedented survey power through its large field of view of 40 arcmin x 40 arcmin together with excellent count-rate capability (≥ 1 Crab). The energy resolution of the silicon sensor is state-of-the-art in the energy band of interest from 0.2 keV to 15 keV, e.g. the full width at half maximum of a line at 6 keV will be ≤ 150 eV until the end of the nominal mission phase. This performance is accomplished by using DEPFET active pixel sensors with a pixel size of 130 μm x 130 μm well suited to the on-axis angular resolution of 5 arcsec 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. Two different types of DEPFET sensors are planned for the WFI instrument: A set of four large-area sensors to cover the physical size of 14 cm x 14 cm in the focal plane and a single smaller gateable DEPFET sensor matrix optimized for high count-rate observations. Here we present the conceptual design of the instrument with focus on the critical subsystems and describe the instrument performance expectations. An outline of the model philosophy and the project organization completes the presentation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 August 2015
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9601, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIX, 96010H (24 August 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2187012
Show Author Affiliations
Norbert Meidinger, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Josef Eder, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Maria Fürmetz, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Kirpal Nandra, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Daniel Pietschner, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Markus Plattner, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Arne Rau, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Jonas Reiffers, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Rafael Strecker, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Marco Barbera, Univ. degli Studi di Palermo (Italy)
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo (Italy)
Thorsten Brand, Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)
Jörn Wilms, Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9601:
UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIX
Oswald H. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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