Design of the detection chain for Athena X-IFU

H. Geoffray, B. D. Jackson, S. R. Bandler, S. J. Smith, W. B. Doriese, M. Durkin, J. Van Der Kuur, B. J. Van Leeuwen, M. Kiviranta, D. Prêle, L. Ravera, Y. Parot, H. Van Weers, J. W. Den Herder, J. Adams, J. A. Chervenak, C. D. Reintsema, J. N. Ullom, F. Brachet, A. LedotP. Peille, D. Barret

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) instrument is the high-resolution X-ray spectrometer of the ESA Athena X-ray Observatory. X-IFU will deliver spectra from 0.2 to 12 keV with a spectral resolution of 2.5 eV up to 7 keV from 5" pixels, with a hexagonal field of view of 5' equivalent diameter. The main sensor array and its associated detection chain is one of the major sub-systems of the X-IFU instrument, and is the main contributor to X-IFU's performance. CNES (the French Space Agency) is leading the development of X-IFU; additional major partners are NASA-GFSC, SRON, VTT, APC, NIST, and IRAP. This paper updates the B-phase definition of the X-IFU detection chain. The readout is based on time-division multiplexing (TDM). The different sub-components of the detection chain (the main sensor array, the cold electronics stages, and the warm electronics) require global design optimization in order to achieve the best performance. The detection chain's sensitivity to the EMI/EMC environment requires detailed analysis and implementation of dedicated design solutions. This paper focuses on these aspects while providing an update to the detection-chain design description.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022
Subtitle of host publicationUltraviolet to Gamma Ray
EditorsJan-Willem A. den Herder, Shouleh Nikzad, Kazuhiro Nakazawa
PublisherInternational Society for Optics and Photonics SPIE
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5106-5343-6
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Montreal, United States
Duration: 17 Jul 202222 Jul 2022

Publication series

SeriesProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Athena X-IFU
  • microcalorimeters
  • TDM
  • TES


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