eROSITA is the main instrument of the upcoming Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma mission (SRG). SRG is expected to be launched in March 2018 from Baikonur into an orbit around the Lagrange Point L2 in a distance of about 1.5 million km from Earth.
The main scientific question eROSITA will help to answer is dark energy. Current cosmological models show that the universe consists of about 30% matter (most of which is also dark) and 70% dark energy. While the nature of this dark matter has been studied in the last decades in detail, the nature of the dark energy remains elusive. A way to study dark energy is to study the number density and distribution of galaxy clusters – the largest structures in the universe. Their distribution and evolution depends strongly on the cosmological parameters and the influence of the dark energy.
eROSITA will therefore perform the first complete all-sky survey in the energy range from 0.1 to 10 keV with high spectral and angular resolution. eROSITA is expected to find up to 100.000 galaxy clusters and 3 Million Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). eROSITA consists of 7 identical Wolter telescopes with 54 nested mirror shells. Each telescope uses a framestore CCD sensor with 384×384 pixels.
Our team is responsible for the development of the preprocessing software (decoding of the telemetry, processing the data, and storage in the archive) and the near real time analysis (NRTA) to assess the health of the instrument and take a first look at the scientific content of the data.