Development of the Wide Field Imager for Athena

Conference contribution

Publication Details

Author(s): Meidinger N, Eder J, Fuermetz M, Nandra K, Pietschner D, Plattner M, Rau A, Reiffers J, Strecker R, Barbera M, Brand T, Wilms J
Publication year: 2015
Volume: 9601
ISSN: 0277-786X


The WFI (Wide Field Imager) instrument is planned to be one of two complementary focal plane cameras on ESA's next X-ray observatory Athena. It combines unprecedented survey power through its large field of view of 40 arcmin x 40 arcmin together with excellent count-rate capability (>= 1 Crab). The energy resolution of the silicon sensor is state-of-the-art in the energy band of interest from 0.2 keV to 15 keV, e.g. the full width at half maximum of a line at 6 keV will be <= 150 eV until the end of the nominal mission phase. This performance is accomplished by using DEPFET active pixel sensors with a pixel size of 130 mu m x 130 mu m well suited to the on-axis angular resolution of 5 arcsec of the mirror system. Each DEPFET pixel is a combined detector-amplifier structure with a MOSFET integrated onto a fully depleted 450 mu m thick silicon bulk. Two different types of DEPFET sensors are planned for the WFI instrument: A set of four large-area sensors to cover the physical size of 14 cm x 14 cm in the focal plane and a single smaller gateable DEPFET sensor matrix optimized for high count-rate observations. Here we present the conceptual design of the instrument with focus on the critical subsystems and describe the instrument performance expectations. An outline of the model philosophy and the project organization completes the presentation.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

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

External institutions with authors

Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (MPE) / Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
Università degli Studi di Palermo

How to cite

Meidinger, N., Eder, J., Fuermetz, M., Nandra, K., Pietschner, D., Plattner, M.,... Wilms, J. (2015). Development of the Wide Field Imager for Athena.

Meidinger, Norbert, et al. "Development of the Wide Field Imager for Athena." 2015.


Last updated on 2019-04-06 at 09:08