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Proceedings Paper

Reproducibility and monitoring of the instrumental particle background for the x-ray integral field unit
Author(s): E. Cucchetti; E. Pointecouteau; D. Barret; S. Lotti; C. Macculi; S. Molendi; F. Pajot; P. Peille; L. Piro; G. W. Pratt
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Paper Abstract

The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) is the cryogenic imaging spectrometer on board the future X-ray observatory Athena. With a hexagonal array of 3840 AC-biased Transition Edge Sensors (TES), it will provide narrow-field observations (5’ equivalent diameter) with unprecedented high spectral resolution (2.5 eV up to 7 keV) over the 0.2 – 12 keV bandpass. Throughout its observations, the X-IFU will face various sources of X-ray background. Specifically, the so-called Non-X-ray Background (NXB) caused by the interaction of high-energy cosmic rays with the instrument, may lead to a degradation of its sensitivity in the observation of faint extended sources (e.g. galaxy clusters outskirts). To limit this effect, a cryogenic anti-coincidence detector (CryoAC) will be placed below the detector plane to lower the NXB level down to the required level of 5⊗10−3 cts/s/cm2/keV over 2 - 10 keV. In this contribution, we investigate ways to accurately monitor the NXB and ensure the highest reproducibility in-flight. Using the limiting science case of the background-dominated observation of galaxy clusters outskirts, we demonstrate that a reproducibility of 2% on the absolute knowledge of the background is required to perform driving science objectives, such as measuring abundances and turbulence in the outskirts. Monitoring of the NXB in-flight through closed observations, the detector’s CryoAC or the companion instrument (Wide Field Imager) will be used to meet this requirement.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2018
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10699, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 106994N (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2312179
Show Author Affiliations
E. Cucchetti, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
E. Pointecouteau, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
D. Barret, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
S. Lotti, INAF - Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (Italy)
C. Macculi, INAF - Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (Italy)
S. Molendi, INAF - IASF Milano (Italy)
F. Pajot, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
P. Peille, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
L. Piro, INAF - IASF Roma (Italy)
G. W. Pratt, CEA-DRF-IRFU (France)
Univ. Paris Diderot - Paris 7 (France)


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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