The European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) consortium has provided the focal plane instruments for the three X-ray mirror systems on XMM-Newton . Two cameras with a reflecting grating spectrometer in the optical path are equipped with MOS type CCDs as focal plane detectors (Turner 2001), the telescope with the full photon flux operates the novel pn-CCD as an imaging X-ray spectrometer. The pn-CCD camera system was developed under the leadership of the Max-Planck-Institut f ̈ ur extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), Garching. The concept of the pn-CCD is described as well as the di erent operational modes of the camera system. The electrical, mechanical and thermal design of the focal plane and camera is briefly treated. The in-orbit performance is described in terms of energy resolution, quantum eciency, time resolution, long term stability and charged particle background. Special emphasis is given to the radiation hardening of the devices and the measured and expected degradation due to radiation damage of ionizing particles in the rst 9 months of in orbit operation.
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