New Video: Discover the heart of the X-IFU

A brand-new video about the X-IFU (X-ray Integral Field Unit) is now available. You will discover the heart of the instrument: its X-ray detection chain. This new video about the X-IFU is a deep dive into the heart of the instrument. For about two minutes, discover the X-IFU’s detection chain: from the collection of photons by the mirror of the telescope to the data sent back to Earth. The video will reveal the many elements that form the detection chain and are all necessary for the instrument to accomplish all its promises. The engineers and researchers of the X-IFU consortium are currently developing the innovative technologies used in the detection chain. Thanks to their skills and expertise, the X-IFU will measure the energy of each photon with unprecedented accuracy. This will enable astrophysicists to explore the regions from which the X-ray are emitted, providing, for instance, breakthrough information about the formation and evolution of the large structures of matter observed in the Universe. This video comes at a time when the X-IFU Consortium is cruising through the preliminary definition phase of the instrument, a key step in the development of the X-IFU. We would like to give special thanks for their valuable contributions and feedback to our colleagues from IRAP, APC Laboratory, CNES, Goddard, NIST, and SRON. A first video introducing the X-IFU was released last year, you can watch it here: The new video is available in English and French, with subtitles currently in English, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

The X-IFU Gazette #14 has been released!

The 14th issue of the X-IFU Gazette has been released! As we move through the Covid-19 pandemic, I first hope that this newsletter finds you and yours healthy and safe. Working conditions for most of us have changed dramatically, from a very interactive environment to a rather isolated one in an office at home, and virtual-only interactions. Project activities have continued at a regular and intense pace, mostly through video-conferencing. Thanks to the improvements of digital technologies, we have been able to run a full audience consortium meeting via Zoom. Maëva Voltz will report our lessons learned from that rather unique experience. Who ever said that the X-IFU was a smooth and quiet project? At the start of Phase B1, a new procurement scheme for the Dewar is now under consideration. It will be provided through an ESA funded industrial contract. Vincent Albouys and I will come back to this new situation for us. We will also address the status of the Detector Cooling System (DCS) as a key element of the technology demonstration at the Mission Adoption Review (MAR). Randy Doriese on behalf of our NIST, Stanford and Goddard colleagues will tell us all about Time Domain Multiplexing (TDM) which is the new baseline readout scheme to X-IFU. Communicating toward the public is mandatory, because at the end of the day, the funding of X-IFU is through citizens’ money, and it is justified to tell the public why and how we plan to spend it. Maëva has been coordinating the production of a new movie produced by Fab&Fab, presenting the heart of X-IFU. With the release of exclusive images, she will introduce the movie and the key contributors. This newsletter will conclude by highlighting the German contribution to the X-IFU and the bio of Professor Joern Wilms who is...

Exclusive images of the next X-IFU video

The new X-IFU video about the heart of the instrument will be published in just a few weeks. As we are all impatiently waiting, we have a little treat for you. Below are some exclusives images from the video. We have described the creative process for this video in a newsletter article, find it here. If you have missed the teaser, it's available on our YouTube channel: [caption id="attachment_1315" align="aligncenter" width="700"] This is an artist’s impression of the X-IFU’s Focal Plane Assembly. Credits: X-IFU Consortium.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1316" align="aligncenter" width="700"] This is an artist’s impression of the X-IFU’s TES array. Credits: X-IFU Consortium.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1317" align="aligncenter" width="700"] This is an artist’s impression of the X-IFU’s micro-calorimeters. Credits: X-IFU Consortium.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1318" align="aligncenter" width="700"] This is an artist’s impression of Earth for the X-IFU video. Credits: X-IFU Consortium.[/caption]