MPE
Athena

 

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Athena is currently under study by ESA, and the mission architecture is only in a preliminary state. The baseline concept is, however, as follows:
  • The heart of the Athena mission is a pair of high-throughput X-ray telescopes , based on ultra-lightweight Silicon Pore Optics (SPO) technology developed by ESA. The focal length of each telescope is approximately 11.5m.

  • At one focal plane is an imaging calorimeter spectrometer , based on transition edge sensor technology, which provides an unprecedented combination of spectral resolution and effective area in the X-ray band.

  • The other telescope feeds a wide field imager , based on Silicon active pixel sensor technology, which provides a large field of view for broad-band X-ray surveys and imaging, with near Fano limited energy resolution and high count-rate capability.

  • Athena will be launched into a halo orbit at the Sun-Earth L2 (2nd Lagrangian point), which provides for high observing efficiency, uninterrupted observations, and a benign thermal environment.
A preliminary set of Science requirements for the Athena mission is given here .

© Hochenergiegruppe des MPE
letzte Änderung: 24-Apr-2011, durch Thomas Boller and Joachim Paul


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