The Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics (Athena) has been selected by ESA as its second large-class mission. The future European X-ray observatory will study the hot and energetic Universe with its launch foreseen in 2028. Microcalorimeters based on superconducting Transition-edge sensor (TES) are the chosen technology for the detectors array of the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) on board of Athena. The X-IFU is a 2-D imaging integral-field spectrometer operating in the soft X-ray band (0.3-12 keV). The detector consists of an array of 3840 TESs coupled to X-ray absorbers and read out in the MHz bandwidth using Frequency Domain Multiplexing (FDM) based on Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs). The proposed design calls for devices with a high filling-factor, high quantum efficiency, relatively high count-rate capability and an energy resolution of 2.5 eV at 5.9 keV. The paper will review the basic principle and the physics of the TES-based microcalorimeters and present the state-of-the art of the FDM read-out.
|Journal||Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Jul 2016|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- Athena mission
- Frequency domain multiplexing
- Transition edge sensor