The European Science Support Center (ESSC) for Hitomi

The tasks of the ESSC are focussed on supporting the European scientific community with the use of Hitomi:

  • It provides expert knowledge about Hitomi,
  • it trains European astronomers,
  • it contributes to the validation of the scientific quality of the calibrations in the analysis software,
  • it provides technical support to the ESA OTAC process.

In addition, the ESSC staff is well integrated in the Hitomi collaboration thanks to hardware involvement of Geneva University for the SXS filter wheel (Geneva is the point of contact for the filter wheel within the Hitomi collaboration).  The staff is involved in the Hitomi Science Working Group, contributes to the preparation of white papers on Hitomi performances, and to the definition of the target list to be proposed by the SWG for the performance verification phase. Finally, the ESSC/SOC staff shall contribute to the calibration effort of Hitomi.

The activities of the ESSC have started in 2012. The ESSC tasks will be mainly undertaken by a highly-qualified small team. The ESSC has organized an ASTRO-H Special Session at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science 2012 during which the mission and its science capabilities were presented. Further promotion activities are foreseen, including the presence to the conference X-ray Universe 2016 and workshops. The user support/helpdesk will be done in collaboration with the ESA Hitomi SOC; the ESSC staff will focus on providing support with technical information on instruments and data analysis software aspects.