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Energy scale calibration and drift correction of the X-IFU
Author(s): Edoardo Cucchetti; Megan E. Eckart; Philippe Peille; Cor de Vries; François Pajot; Etienne Pointecouteau; Maurice Leutenegger; Caroline A. Kilbourne; Frederick S. Porter
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Paper Abstract

The Athena X-Ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) will provide spatially resolved high-resolution spectroscopy (2.5 eV FWHM up to 7 keV) over the 0.2 to 12 keV energy band. It will comprise an array of 3840 superconducting Transition Edge Sensors (TESs) operated at 90 mK, with an absolute energy scale accuracy of 0.4 eV. Slight changes in the TES operating environment can cause significant variations in its energy response function, which may result in degradation of the detector’s energy resolution, and eventually in systematic errors in the absolute energy scale if not properly corrected. These changes will be monitored via an onboard Modulated X-ray Source (MXS) and the energy scale will be corrected accordingly using a multi-parameter interpolation of gain curves obtained during ground calibration. Assuming realistic MXS configurations and using the instrument End-To-End simulator SIXTE, we investigate here both statistical and systematic effects on the X-IFU energy scale, occurring either during ground measurements or in-flight. The corresponding impacts on the energy resolution and means of accounting for these errors are also addressed. We notably demonstrate that a multiparameter gain correction, using both the pulse-height estimate and the baseline of a pulse, can accurately recover systematic effects on the gain due to realistic changes in TES operating conditions within 0.4 eV. Optimisations of this technique with respect to the MXS line configuration and correction time, as well as to the energy scale parametrization are also show promising results to improve the accuracy of the correction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2018
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10699, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 106994M (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2312170
Show Author Affiliations
Edoardo Cucchetti, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Megan E. Eckart, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Philippe Peille, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Cor de Vries, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
François Pajot, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Etienne Pointecouteau, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Maurice Leutenegger, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Caroline A. Kilbourne, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Frederick S. Porter, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10699:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Jan-Willem A. den Herder; Shouleh Nikzad; Kazuhiro Nakazawa, Editor(s)

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