The Athena X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU)

Didier Barret, Thien Lam Trong, Jan-Willem den Herder, Luigi Piro, Xavier Barcons, Juhani Huovelin, Richard Kelley, J. Miguel Mas-Hesse, Kazuhisa Mitsuda, Stéphane Paltani, Gregor Rauw, Agata RoŻanska, Joern Wilms, Marco Barbera, Enrico Bozzo, Maria Teresa Ceballos, Ivan Charles, Anne Decourchelle, Roland den Hartog, Jean-Marc DuvalFabrizio Fiore, Flavio Gatti, Andrea Goldwurm, Brian Jackson, Peter Jonker, Caroline Kilbourne, Claudio Macculi, Mariano Mendez, Silvano Molendi, Piotr Orleanski, François Pajot, Etienne Pointecouteau, Frederick Porter, Gabriel W. Pratt, Damien Prêle, Laurent Ravera, Etienne Renotte, Joop Schaye, Keisuke Shinozaki, Luca Valenziano, Jacco Vink, Natalie Webb, Noriko Yamasaki, Françoise Delcelier-Douchin, Michel Le Du, Jean-Michel Mesnager, Alice Pradines, Graziella Branduardi-Raymont, Mauro Dadina, Alexis Finoguenov, Yasushi Fukazawa, Agnieszka Janiuk, Jon Miller, Yaël Nazé, Fabrizio Nicastro, Salvatore Sciortino, Jose Miguel Torrejon, Hervé Geoffray, Isabelle Hernandez, Laure Luno, Philippe Peille, Jérôme André, Christophe Daniel, Christophe Etcheverry, Emilie Gloaguen, Jérémie Hassin, Gilles Hervet, Irwin Maussang, Jérôme Moueza, Alexis Paillet, Bruno Vella, Gonzalo Campos Garrido, Jean-Charles Damery, Chantal Panem, Johan Panh, Simon Bandler, Jean-Marc Biffi, Kevin Boyce, Antoine Clénet, Michael DiPirro, Pierre Jamotton, Simone Lotti, Denis Schwander, Stephen Smith, Bert-Joost van Leeuwen, Henk van Weers, Thorsten Brand, Beatriz Cobo, Thomas Dauser, Jelle de Plaa, Edoardo Cucchetti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) on board the Advanced Telescope for High-ENergy Astrophysics (Athena) will provide spatially resolved high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy from 0.2 to 12 keV, with 5" pixels over a field of view of 5 arc minute equivalent diameter and a spectral resolution of 2.5 eV up to 7 keV. In this paper, we first review the core scientific objectives of Athena, driving the main performance parameters of the X-IFU, namely the spectral resolution, the field of view, the effective area, the count rate capabilities, the instrumental background. We also illustrate the breakthrough potential of the X-IFU for some observatory science goals. Then we brie y describe the X-IFU design as defined at the time of the mission consolidation review concluded in May 2016, and report on its predicted performance. Finally, we discuss some options to improve the instrument performance while not increasing its complexity and resource demands (e.g. count rate capability, spectral resolution).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. SPIE 9905, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 99052F (August 17, 2016)
PublisherSPIE
Pages99052F
Volume9905
ISBN (Print)9781510601895
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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