Athena is the second large mission of the Cosmic Vision science program of the European Space Agency. Dedicated to the study of the Hot and Energetic Universe, Athena will carry a large aperture X-ray telescope, and two complementary focal plane instruments: the Wide Field Imager (WFI) and the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU). The X-IFU is a revolutionary instrument providing spatially resolved high resolution X-ray spectroscopy, with 2.5 eV spectral resolution over a field of view of 5 arcminute equivalent diameter. The X-IFU will be developed by an international Consortium, involving Europe, the United States and Japan. The X-IFU Principal Investigator is Didier Barret (IRAP, Toulouse, France). The French Space Agency (CNES) is the technical authority responsible for the overall development of the X-IFU. The two positions are opened to candidates of any nationality holding a PhD. The applicants should have expertise in X-ray astronomy. They will be hosted at IRAP, and will work closely with members of the CNES project team, also located in Toulouse. Calendar: Application deadline: Thursday, September 17, 2020 Selection deadline: Friday, October 30, 2020 Starting date: At the latest Friday, January 1, 2021 More information about the positions and application procedure can be found at: Post-doctoral researcher position as instrument scientist for Athena X-IFU Post-doctoral position to join the X-IFU science team For any questions, please contact us at xifu [at] irap.omp.eu.
This 15th issue brings you the latest X-IFU information right before the summer break! We will start with an update on the cryostat handover to industry. Our Principal Investigator, Didier Barret, will give you some details about the various exchanges with the Primes considered for this new ESA-funded contract. This will be followed by short introductions of two of the newly set-up X-IFU Working Groups (WG) written by their respective co-leads: Roland den Hartog and Philippe Peille for the Performance WG; Jean-Michel Mesnager and Jan-Willem den Herder for the System – Interface WG. Then, you will get to discover the new X-IFU images that are available for download. Lastly, Jiří Svoboda, as the Czech representative in the X-IFU Consortium Board, will present an overview of his country’s contribution to the instrument, the Remote Terminal Unit, and the work of the two institutes carrying it out. You will also get a glimpse of his own activities in his biography article. We wish you all to stay safe and enjoy your summer. Happy reading!