The 6th Meeting of the Wide Field Imager Consortium (WFI) was held from October 10th to 12th in the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (CAMK) Warsaw, Poland. More than 70 consortium members attended to discuss the status of the instrument development, scientific activities, and plans for future work. The meeting started with a series of splinter sessions, dedicated to specific WFI subsystems such as the filters and filter wheel assembly and the detector electronics and instrument control electronics. In addition, the WFI Science Team assembled to review the latest updates to the science requirements and the ongoing science assessment activities. The Background Working Group discussed progress on the reduction and understanding of the instrumental background.
The plenary session started later the same day with a mission status report by WFI PI and ASST Lead Scientist Kirpal Nandra followed by an Athena study status overview given by ESA’s Alexander Stefanescu. Over the course of next two days, the instrument subsystems were discussed in detail. Highlights include the development of the DEPFET sensors, which is making excellent progress with the successful test of prototype detectors. The production of the proto-flight sensors has started. First vibration test of the supporting mesh for the large optical/UV light-blocking filters were also successful and the next tests with flight-like filters are in preparation. All other subsystems, e.g., electronics, filter wheel, thermal, and mechanical are progressing well. Francoise Pajot kindly provided a report on the X-IFU status.
The plenary session also included an update on the end-to-end simulator by the SIXTE team as well as presentations on the astrophysics with the WFI, in particular, the multi-tiered survey and the potential for the WFI Fast Detector to constrain the accretion geometry near the event horizon of stellar mass black holes.
We are most grateful to the hosts of the meeting Agata Rozanska and Piotr Zycki of CAMK for the excellent organization of the meeting and their hospitality, including a memorable conference dinner in historical old-town Warsaw. The pork knuckles and beer were impressive, even by Bavarian standards!
The next consortium meeting will be held at MPE in Garching in April 2018.