The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) for Athena

Conference contribution

Publication Details

Author(s): Ravera L, Barret D, Den Herder JW, Piro L, Cledassou R, Pointecouteau E, Peille P, Pajot F, Arnaud M, Pigot C, Duband L, Cara C, Den Hartog RH, Gottardi L, Akamatsu H, Van Der Kuur J, Van Weers HJ, De Plaa J, Macculi C, Lotti S, Torrioli G, Gatti F, Valenziano L, Barbera M, Barcons X, Teresa Ceballos M, Fabrega L, Miguel Mas-Hesse J, Page MJ, Guttridge PR, Willingale R, Paltani S, Genolet L, Bozzo E, Rauw G, Renotte E, Wilms J, Schmid C
Publication year: 2014
Volume: 9144
ISSN: 0277-786X


Athena is designed to implement the Hot and Energetic Universe science theme selected by the European Space Agency for the second large mission of its Cosmic Vision program. The Athena science payload consists of a large aperture high angular resolution X-ray optics (2 m(2) at 1 keV) and twelve meters away, two interchangeable focal plane instruments: the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) and the Wide Field Imager. The X-IFU is a cryogenic X-ray spectrometer, based on a large array of Transition Edge Sensors (TES), offering 2.5 eV spectral resolution, with similar to 5" pixels, over a field of view of 5' in diameter. In this paper, we present the X-IFU detector and readout electronics principles, some elements of the current design for the focal plane assembly and the cooling chain. We describe the current performance estimates, in terms of spectral resolution, effective area, particle background rejection and count rate capability. Finally, we emphasize on the technology developments necessary to meet the demanding requirements of the X-IFU, both for the sensor, readout electronics and cooling chain.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Schmid, Christian Dr.
Dr.Karl-Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg, Astronomisches Institut
Wilms, Jörn Prof. Dr.
Professur für Astronomie und Astrophysik

External institutions with authors

Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) / Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
CEA-Leti (Laboratoire d'electronique des technologies de l'information)
Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC/INTA)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
Instituto de Física de Cantabria (IFCA)
National Centre for Space Studies / Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES)
National Institute for Astrophysics / Istituto Nazionale Astrofisica (INAF)
Netherlands Institute for Space Research / Stichting Ruimteonderzoek Nederland (SRON)
Università degli Studi di Palermo
University College London (UCL)
University of Geneva / Université de Genève (UNIGE)
University of Genova / Università degli Studi di Genova
University of Leicester
University of Liège (ULg) / Université de Liège
University of Toulouse

How to cite

Ravera, L., Barret, D., Den Herder, J.W., Piro, L., Cledassou, R., Pointecouteau, E.,... Schmid, C. (2014). The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) for Athena.

Ravera, Laurent, et al. "The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) for Athena." 2014.


Last updated on 2019-17-06 at 12:08