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16-09-2017 - X-IFU week in Madrid is over

The sixth X-IFU consortium meeting took place from September 11th to 15th in Madrid at CSIC headquarters. It was hosted by Miguel Mas Hesse (CAB-INTA) and his team, during a very sunny, hot and beautiful week in Madrid. More than 120 X-IFU team members participated in the 18 splinters and the 1.5 days of the plenary sessions. The splinter meetings covered several technical items (sub-systems of the instrument, e.g. the instrument control unit, the TES and readout chain, the power distribution unit, the dewar door), performance items (e.g. system, instrumental background, end-to-end simulator), science and calibration activities, as well as management.

The plenary sessions started from a report on the Cost Driven Reprogramming Exercise, followed by a presentation by ESA on the status of the Athena project. Then, a series of CNES presentations gave a broad view of the study status at instrument and system levels, detailing the current baseline design of the instrument which is in several aspects reaching a high level of maturity. Each sub-system manager then presented a status on the study activities, demonstrating again the breadth of the activities throughout the consortium. The second day of the plenary sessions started by a presentation by Luigi Piro (IAPS) on the transient Universe as will be probed by Athena, a presentation by Matteo Guainazzi (ESA study scientist) on the science requirements, and a status report on WFI by Arne Rau (MPE). Several presentations related to the instrument performance followed. Overall, the quality and depth of the different presentations demonstrated not only the skills of the team, but also its motivation and dedication to meeting the very ambitious and demanding performance of the instrument. The X-IFU Consortium meeting #7 will be in Paris (ApC) in March 2018 and will also be spread over a week. The Consortium meeting picture is shown below. Didier Barret, X-IFU PI.

The final agenda of the plenary sessions of CM#6

Consortium_Meeting6_Madrid_2017_09_13-14_group_picture

07-09-2017 - X-IFU presentation at the Power of X-ray spectroscopy conference

Overview presentation of the X-IFU at the Power of X-ray Spectroscopy conference in Warsaw (September 6-8th, 2017) can be found here.

13-07-2017 - Release of the July 2017 issue of the X-IFU Gazette

Thanks to Françoise Douchin, on behalf of the editorial team, I am pleased to announce the release of the N°4 July 15th 2017 issue of the X-IFU Gazette.

Enjoy the reading. Don't hesitate to provide feedback to Françoise (Francoise.Douchin@cnes.fr) on the content of the X-IFU Gazette.

Best regards,

Françoise and Didier

10-06-2017 - X-IFU status presentation at X-ray Universe Conference – Roma

Overview status presentation at the 2017 X-ray Universe conference in Roma by Didier Barret (see slides).

20-05-2017 - Integrated progress meeting at CNES

The next IPM (#2) will take place at CNES Toulouse on June 14-15th, 2017. It will review the progresses made on all sub-systems.

15-04-2017 - Release of the April 2017 issue of the X-IFU Gazette

Thanks to Françoise Douchin, on behalf of the editorial team, I am pleased to announce the release of the N°3 15 Avril 2017 final (April 2017).

Enjoy the reading. Don't hesitate to provide feedback to Françoise (Francoise.Douchin@cnes.fr) on the content of the X-IFU Gazette.

Best regards,

Françoise and Didier

17-03-2017 - Agenda of X-IFU Consortium meeting #5

Agenda of the X-IFU Consortium meeting #5 is here.

17-03-2017 - Agenda of X-IFU Consortium meeting #5

Agenda of the X-IFU Consortium meeting #5 is here.

08-02-2017 - Athena and its high count rate capabilities

Talk given by D. Barret at the EXTP Conference in Roma (Feb 6-8th, 2017).

17-01-2017 - Improving the X-IFU count rate capability through defocussing

Defocussing of the Athena optics is now a requirement and can be considered in evaluating the count rate performance of the X-IFU. Defocussing spreads the source counts over a large number of pixels (1000). Each pixel can sustain a count rate of the order of 40-50 cps. A Crab like source would produce about 90 000 cps over the full TES array. Therefore it is obvious that with defocussing, the X-IFU is capable of observing bright point sources.

Broad band (0.2-12 keV) high resolution and total throughputs

Broad band (0.2-12 keV) high resolution and total throughputs

High throughput for mid and high resolution events (spectral resolution less than 10 eV) is certainly required around the Iron like between 5 and 8 keV. The use of Be filters would remove a large fraction of the soft photons and therefore reduce the overall count rate of point sources while preserving the interesting events above 5 keV. The X-IFU can achieve throughputs as high as 70% with maximum defocussing and the use of Be filter. The above number will reduce (by a few 10% at 1 Crab) if events affected by cross talk are removed.

The high+mid resolution event fraction in the 5-8 keV band.

The figures shown above are courtesy of Philippe Peille (December 2016), on behalf of the end-to-end simulator team.

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