Here is the project’s overall organisation

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Building an instrument like the X-IFU spectrometer, as well as preparing for the scientific discoveries it will enable, requires a strong international partnership.

We present below the various groups that form the X-IFU Consortium.

Caption: Various organs defining the X-IFU Consortium and their interaction with the Management Team.


X-IFU Consortium Management Team (XCMT)

The XCMT acts as the governing body of the X-IFU Consortium. It assists the Principal Investigator and Project Manager in all matter related to the instrument, whether it is a technical, programmatic, organisational, or scientific topic. The XCMT is co-chaired by:

  • The Principal Investigator (PI) is the science lead of the Consortium and is supported by two Co-Principal Investigators. The PI is also in charge of managing the Consortium.
  • The Project Manager (PM) leads the Project Team and is responsible for the engineering activities and delivery of the instrument to ESA.


X-IFU Consortium Board (XCoB)

The XCoB is a forum where science, organisational, and programmatic topics are discussed between the XCMT and representatives of the countries involved in the Consortium.


X-IFU Science Advisory Team (XSAT)

The XSAT is responsible for all scientific matters related to the development of the instrument and its scientific exploitation. It includes assessing the impact that any changes to the instrument can have on its science capabilities and translating the Athena science requirements into instrument specifications.


X-IFU Co-Investigators

Science or Instrument co-Investigators are members of the Consortium that have specific responsibilities and significant dedication to the X-IFU.


X-IFU Instrument Science Center (X-ISC)

The X-ISC forms part of the Science Ground Segment, led by the ESA Science Operations Centre. The X-ISC will be in charge of developing the X-IFU specific software that will be used to process the data recorded by the instrument. The software will be made available to the astronomical community and used in pipelines to generate standard data products that will be delivered to the Athena users together with their own data. The X-ISC is led by the Project Scientist, together with a project manager from CNES and a management board made up of a representative from each of the countries providing a major contribution to the X-ISC.


X-IFU Calibration Team (XCAT)

The XCaT works on all matters related to the calibration of the X-IFU, both on the ground and in space. It is chaired by the Instrument Scientist. The XCaT elaborates and writes the X-IFU calibration plan. It defines, then insures the procurement of the ground calibration sources and their associated support equipment. It elaborates the detailed calibration sequences, performs these sequences together with the instrument team, and analyses the corresponding data. It updates the calibration files throughout the mission lifetime, including the in-flight calibration.


Working Groups (WG)

Three Working Groups were set up to assist the Project Team and share resources and expertise on specific technical topics. Their topics are:

  • Performance
  • Transition Edge Sensors and Detection chain
  • System and Interface


You can find the members of each group on this page.

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