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Proceedings Paper

Background simulations for the wide field imager aboard the ATHENA X-ray Observatory
Author(s): Steffen Hauf; Markus Kuster; Dieter H. H. Hoffmann; Philipp-Michael Lang; Stephan Neff; Maria Grazia Pia; Lothar Strüder
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Paper Abstract

The ATHENA X-ray observatory was a European Space Agency project for a L-class mission. ATHENA was to be based upon a simplified IXO design with the number of instruments and the focal length of the Wolter optics being reduced. One of the two instruments, the Wide Field Imager (WFI) was to be a DePFET based focal plane pixel detector, allowing for high time and spatial resolution spectroscopy in the energy-range between 0.1 and 15 keV. In order to fulfill the mission goals a high sensitivity is essential, especially to study faint and extended sources. Thus a detailed understanding of the detector background induced by cosmic ray particles is crucial. During the mission design generally extensive Monte-Carlo simulations are used to estimate the detector background in order to optimize shielding components and software rejection algorithms. The Geant4 toolkit1,2 is frequently the tool of choice for this purpose. Alongside validation of the simulation environment with XMM-Newton EPIC-pn and Space Shuttle STS-53 data we present estimates for the ATHENA WFI cosmic ray induced background including long-term activation, which demonstrate that DEPFET-technology based detectors are able to achieve the required sensitivity.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 84435J (27 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926482
Show Author Affiliations
Steffen Hauf, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Markus Kuster, European XFEL GmbH (Germany)
Dieter H. H. Hoffmann, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Philipp-Michael Lang, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Stephan Neff, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Maria Grazia Pia, INFN (Italy)
Lothar Strüder, Max-Planck-Institut Halbleiterlabor (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8443:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Tadayuki Takahashi; Stephen S. Murray; Jan-Willem A. den Herder, Editor(s)

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