The X-ray Integral Field Unit for Athena


D. Barret, J.W. den Herder, L. Piro, et al.

The Athena science payload consists of a large aperture high angular resolution X-ray optics and twelve meters away, two interchangeable focal plane instruments: the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) and the Wide Field Imager (WFI).

The X-IFU is a cryogenic X-ray spectrometer, based on a large array of Transition Edge Sensors (TES), offering 2.5 eV spectral resolution, with ~5’’ pixels, over a field of view of 5 arc minutes in diameter. In this paper, we briefly describe the Athena mission concept and the X-IFU performance requirements.

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