It is not enough to merely build the instruments and to then say “they are completed”. In order to obtain meaningful scientific information about the object being observed, the electrical signals — voltages and currents — produced by the instruments must be converted as accurately as possible to the corresponding energy, arrival time and
position of each X-ray that is detected. This is the purpose of instrument calibration, and it is an ongoing and vitally important operation.
Because of its importance, calibration meetings are held routinely and one such meeting just occurred at ISAS. The calibration team leaders for each instrument team assembled to discuss calibration policies and what kinds of calibration measurements to
make, both before launch and while Astro-H is in orbit. Only a limited amount of time is available for such measurements so an important topic was how to prioritize experiments to most effectively make use of this limited time. The meeting stretched over two days.
The end-of-meeting commemorative photo shows lots of smiling faces — everyone expects the calibration operations to continue to go smoothly.