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The ATHENA X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU)
Author(s): Didier Barret; Thien Lam Trong; Jan-Willem den Herder; Luigi Piro; Massimo Cappi; Juhani Houvelin; Richard Kelley; J. Miguel Mas-Hesse; Kazuhisa Mitsuda; Stéphane Paltani; Gregor Rauw; Agata Rozanska; Joern Wilms; Simon Bandler; Marco Barbera; Xavier Barcons; Enrico Bozzo; Maria Teresa Ceballos; Ivan Charles; Elisa Costantini; Anne Decourchelle; Roland den Hartog; Lionel Duband; Jean-Marc Duval; Fabrizio Fiore; Flavio Gatti; Andrea Goldwurm; Brian Jackson; Peter Jonker; Caroline Kilbourne; Claudio Macculi; Mariano Mendez; Silvano Molendi; Piotr Orleanski; François Pajot; Etienne Pointecouteau; Frederick Porter; Gabriel W. Pratt; Damien Prêle; Laurent Ravera; Kosuke Sato; Joop Schaye; Keisuke Shinozaki; Tanguy Thibert; Luca Valenziano; Véronique Valette; Jacco Vink; Natalie Webb; Michael Wise; Noriko Yamasaki; Françoise Douchin; Jean-Michel Mesnager; Bernard Pontet; Alice Pradines; Graziella Branduardi-Raymont; Esra Bulbul; Mauro Dadina; Stefano Ettori; Alexis Finoguenov; Yasushi Fukazawa; Agnieszka Janiuk; Jelle Kaastra; Pasquale Mazzotta; Jon Miller; Giovanni Miniutti; Yael Naze; Fabrizio Nicastro; Salavtore Scioritino; Aurora Simonescu; Jose Miguel Torrejon; Benoit Frezouls; Hervé Geoffray; Philippe Peille; Corinne Aicardi; Jérôme André; Christophe Daniel; Antoine Clénet; Christophe Etcheverry; Emilie Gloaguen; Gilles Hervet; Antoine Jolly; Aurélien Ledot; Irwin Paillet; Roseline Schmisser; Bruno Vella; Jean-Charles Damery; Kevin Boyce; Mike Dipirro; Simone Lotti; Denis Schwander; Stephen Smith; Bert-Joost Van Leeuwen; Henk van Weers; Nicolas Clerc; Beatriz Cobo; Thomas Dauser; Christian Kirsch; Edoardo Cucchetti; Megan Eckart; Philippe Ferrando; Lorenzo Natalucci
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Paper Abstract

The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) is the high resolution X-ray spectrometer of the ESA Athena X-ray observatory. Over a field of view of 5’ equivalent diameter, it will deliver X-ray spectra from 0.2 to 12 keV with a spectral resolution of 2.5 eV up to 7 keV on ∼ 5” pixels. The X-IFU is based on a large format array of super-conducting molybdenum-gold Transition Edge Sensors cooled at ∼ 90 mK, each coupled with an absorber made of gold and bismuth with a pitch of 249 μm. A cryogenic anti-coincidence detector located underneath the prime TES array enables the non X-ray background to be reduced. A bath temperature of ∼ 50 mK is obtained by a series of mechanical coolers combining 15K Pulse Tubes, 4K and 2K Joule-Thomson coolers which pre-cool a sub Kelvin cooler made of a 3He sorption cooler coupled with an Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator. Frequency domain multiplexing enables to read out 40 pixels in one single channel. A photon interacting with an absorber leads to a current pulse, amplified by the readout electronics and whose shape is reconstructed on board to recover its energy with high accuracy. The defocusing capability offered by the Athena movable mirror assembly enables the X-IFU to observe the brightest X-ray sources of the sky (up to Crab-like intensities) by spreading the telescope point spread function over hundreds of pixels. Thus the X-IFU delivers low pile-up, high throughput (< 50%), and typically 10 eV spectral resolution at 1 Crab intensities, i.e. a factor of 10 or more better than Silicon based X-ray detectors. In this paper, the current X-IFU baseline is presented, together with an assessment of its anticipated performance in terms of spectral resolution, background, and count rate capability. The X-IFU baseline configuration will be subject to a preliminary requirement review that is scheduled at the end of 2018.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 July 2018
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 10699, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 106991G (31 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2312409
Show Author Affiliations
Didier Barret, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Thien Lam Trong, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Jan-Willem den Herder, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
Luigi Piro, Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (Italy)
Massimo Cappi, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Bologna (Italy)
Juhani Houvelin, Univ. of Helsinki (Finland)
Richard Kelley, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
J. Miguel Mas-Hesse, Ctr. de Astrobiologia, CSIC/INTA (Spain)
Kazuhisa Mitsuda, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (Japan)
Stéphane Paltani, Univ. of Geneva (Switzerland)
Gregor Rauw, Liège Univ. (Belgium)
Agata Rozanska, Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Ctr. (Poland)
Joern Wilms, Univ. of Erlangen-Nüremberg (Germany)
Simon Bandler, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Marco Barbera, Univ. degli Studi di Palermo (Italy)
Xavier Barcons, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Enrico Bozzo, Univ. of Geneva (Switzerland)
Maria Teresa Ceballos, Univ. de Cantabria (Spain)
Ivan Charles, Univ. Grenoble Alpes (France)
Elisa Costantini, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
Anne Decourchelle, Univ. Paris Diderot, CEA/CNRS (France)
Roland den Hartog, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
Lionel Duband, CEA-Grenoble (France)
Jean-Marc Duval, Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CEA, INAC-SBT (France)
Fabrizio Fiore, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)
Flavio Gatti, Univ. degli Studi di Genova (Italy)
Andrea Goldwurm, Astroparticule et Cosmologie (France)
Brian Jackson, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
Peter Jonker, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
Caroline Kilbourne, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Claudio Macculi, Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (Italy)
Mariano Mendez, Univ. Groningen (Netherlands)
Silvano Molendi, INAF - IASF Milano (Italy)
Piotr Orleanski, Ctr. Badan Kosmcznych (Poland)
François Pajot, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Etienne Pointecouteau, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Frederick Porter, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Gabriel W. Pratt, Univ. Paris Diderot, CEA/CNRS (France)
Damien Prêle, Astroparticule et Cosmologie (France)
Laurent Ravera, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Kosuke Sato, Saitama Univ. (Japan)
Joop Schaye, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)
Keisuke Shinozaki, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
Tanguy Thibert, Liège Univ. (Belgium)
Luca Valenziano, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Bologna (Italy)
Véronique Valette, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Jacco Vink, Univ. van Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Natalie Webb, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Michael Wise, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Noriko Yamasaki, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (Japan)
Françoise Douchin, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Jean-Michel Mesnager, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Bernard Pontet, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Alice Pradines, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Graziella Branduardi-Raymont, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Esra Bulbul, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Mauro Dadina, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Bologna (Italy)
Stefano Ettori, INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)
Alexis Finoguenov, Univ. of Helsinki (Finland)
Yasushi Fukazawa, Hiroshima Univ. (Japan)
Agnieszka Janiuk, Ctr. for Theoretical Physics (Poland)
Jelle Kaastra, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
Pasquale Mazzotta, Univ. degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata" (Italy)
Jon Miller, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Giovanni Miniutti, Ctr. de Astrobiologia, CSIC/INTA (Spain)
Yael Naze, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
Fabrizio Nicastro, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)
Salavtore Scioritino, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Palermo (Italy)
Aurora Simonescu, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
Jose Miguel Torrejon, Univ. de Alicante (Spain)
Benoit Frezouls, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Hervé Geoffray, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Philippe Peille, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Corinne Aicardi, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Jérôme André, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Christophe Daniel, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Antoine Clénet, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Christophe Etcheverry, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Emilie Gloaguen, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Gilles Hervet, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Antoine Jolly, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Aurélien Ledot, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Irwin Paillet, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Roseline Schmisser, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Bruno Vella, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Jean-Charles Damery, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Kevin Boyce, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Mike Dipirro, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Simone Lotti, INAF - Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali - IAPS (Italy)
Denis Schwander, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Stephen Smith, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Bert-Joost Van Leeuwen, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
Henk van Weers, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (Netherlands)
Nicolas Clerc, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Beatriz Cobo, Instituto de Física de Cantabria (Spain)
Thomas Dauser, ECAP, Univ. of Erlangen-Nüremberg (Germany)
Christian Kirsch, ECAP, Univ. of Erlangen-Nüremberg (Germany)
Edoardo Cucchetti, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Megan Eckart, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Philippe Ferrando, Univ. Paris Diderot, CEA/CNRS (France)
Lorenzo Natalucci, Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (Italy)


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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