BackForwardInstrument:  EPIC (XMM) 

Instrument details
Acronym EPIC (XMM)
Full name European Photon Imaging Camera
Purpose X-ray measurement in the Interplanetary space
Short description Three CCD cameras to image the interplanetary space witin a Field of View of 30 arcmin. X-ray spectroscopy in the range 0.15-15 keV with moderate resolving power (E/ΔE ~ 20-50). Two out of the three cameras provide an image resolution of 1.1 arcsec; the third one 4.1 arcsec
Background EPIC is complementary to the other two XMM-Newton instruments: the Reflection Grating Spectrometer (RGS), that measures X-rays with higher spectral resolution and lower spatial resolution than EPIC; and the Optical Monitor (OM), that provides complementary information on UV and VIS
Scanning Technique CCD viewing the interplanetary space in a 30 arcmin FOV addressing changing sectors as the satellite moves in the 40° inclination HEO. Sampling is at 2.6 s intervals for the two cameras with 1.1 arcsec resolution, 73 s for the camera with 4.1 arcsec resolution
Resolution 1,1 arcsec or 4.1 arcsec, depending on the CCD camera
Coverage / Cycle Large fraction of the interplanetary space each orbital period (48 h). Typical sampling intervals: 2.6 s or 73 s
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency ESA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2000-03-10 to ≥2021
Last update: 2021-09-29
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Solar and space environment monitors
  • Space radiometer or spectrometer
WIGOS Subcomponents
  • Subcomponent 2
  • Heliospheric imager [from L1, GEO, LEO]
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • X-ray flux spectrum
Secondary mission objectives
  • Heliospheric image
Opportunity objectives
  • X-ray sky image
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
X-ray flux spectrum4 - fairNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space viewing, coarse spectral resolution
X-ray sky image1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space viewing, spectrometry with high spatial resolution
Heliospheric image3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space viewing in the X-ray band (0.001-10 nm)