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Proceedings Paper

Swift gamma-ray burst MIDEX
Author(s): Neil A. Gehrels
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Paper Abstract

Swift is a first of its kind multiwavelength transient observatory for gamma-ray burst astronomy. It has the optimum capabilities for the next breakthroughs in determining the origin of gamma-ray bursts and their afterglows as well a using bursts to probe the early Universe. Swift will also perform the first sensitive hard X-ray survey of the sky. The mission is being developed by an international collaboration and consists of three instruments, the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), the X-ray Telescope (XRT), and the Ultraviolet and Optical Telescope (UVOT). The BAT, a wide-field gamma-ray detector will detect approximately 1 gamma-ray burst per day with a sensitivity 5 times that of BATSE. The sensitive narrow-field XRT and UVOT will be autonomously slewed to the burst location in 20 to 70 seconds to determine 0.3 - 5.0 arcsec positions and perform optical, UV, and X-ray spectrophotometry. On-board measurements of redshift will also be done for hundreds of bursts. Swift will incorporate superb, low-cost instrument using existing flight-spare hardware and designs. Strong education/public outreach and follow-up programs will help to engage the public and astronomical community. Swift has been selected by NASA for development and launch in 2003.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 December 2000
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4140, X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy XI, (13 December 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.409142
Show Author Affiliations
Neil A. Gehrels, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4140:
X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy XI
Kathryn A. Flanagan; Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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