The 14th X-IFU Consortium Meeting (CM14) took place virtually from 29 November to 3 December 2021.
The meeting was very well attended with each plenary session welcoming over 100 participants, and the most popular one reaching 145 people.
Members of the Consortium learned about the key updates related to the instrument development and its scientific objectives. One of the major announcements was the reduction of the number of readout channels, from 96 to 72 chains, keeping the multiplexing factor unchanged (33). This reduction was enabled by the increase of the pixel pitch from 275 µm to 317 µm, as required to preserve the instrument’s field of view. This change is considered as a very beneficial optimisation for the X-IFU.
In addition, the Instrument System Requirement Review (I-SSR) is scheduled for the first half of 2022. The X-IFU Consortium will prepare a data pack to be reviewed by the European Space Agency. This important step will also set the instrument performances for the Adoption of the mission by ESA early 2023.
During this week, participants were also introduced to the Life Cycle Analysis of the X-IFU instrument. This environmental assessment aims to identify the contributions of all life cycle phases (extraction, production, use, etc.) to various environmental impacts in order to determine the hotspots and define efficient actions to reduce them. After working on two pilot sub-systems, the analysis will now be extended to all other sub-systems over the coming months.
The launch is still a long time away, but activities are ramping up for the X-IFU team.