The X-IFU Consortium Meeting #2 in Rome,
at IAPS/INAF, Oct.28-30, 2014
- Conference Room

date photo: October 30, 2014



The X-ray Integral Field Unit is one of the two instruments aboard the Athena X-ray Observatory   the second large mission of the ESA science program, to be launched in 2028. The Athena mission is designed to implement the Hot and Energetic Universe science theme

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.

The X-IFU is based only on European technologies. The instrument will be proposed to be built by an ESA Member State (MS) consortium which has been set up within the Athena team and is led by France (Didier Barret, IRAP, PI), with Netherlands (Jan-Willem den Herder, SRON) and Italy (Luigi Piro, INAF) as co-PIs. CNES, the French Space Agency, is proposed to be prime of the X-IFU, lead the project management, the system team and the AIT activities. Major contributions are also anticipated from Belgium, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain and Switzerland. Its enabling technologies will be pursued in Europe, through a coordinated technology development plan between ESA and the ESA MS. Teams outside Europe have expressed interest in contributing to some elements of the X-IFU, for example components of the cooling chain and the focal plane assembly. Any such contribution will need to be assessed within the context of the overall international contribution to Athena, and should be agreed by the X-IFU consortium.