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Proceedings Paper

MEGA: a medium-energy gamma-ray astronomy mission concept
Author(s): P. F. Bloser; J. M. Ryan; M. L. McConnell; J. R. Macri; U. Bravar; G. Kanbach; R. Andritschke; M. Ajello; A. Zoglauer; S. D. Hunter; B. F. Phlips; E. A. Wulf; D. H. Hartmann; R. S. Miller; W. S. Paciesas; A. D. Zych; R. M. Kippen; T. Vestrand; M. L. Cherry; T. G. Guzik; J. G. Stacy; J. P. Wefel; V. Reglero; G. Di Cocco; J. P. Cravens
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Paper Abstract

The Medium Energy Gamma-ray Astronomy (MEGA) telescope concept will soon be proposed as a MIDEX mission. This mission would enable a sensitive all-sky survey of the medium-energy gamma-ray sky (0.4 - 50 MeV) and bridge the huge sensitivity gap between the COMPTEL and OSSE experiments on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the SPI and IBIS instruments on INTEGRAL, and the visionary Advanced Compton Telescope (ACT) mission. The scientific goals include, among other things, compiling a much larger catalog of sources in this energy range, performing far deeper searches for supernovae, better measuring the galactic continuum and line emissions, and identifying the components of the cosmic diffuse gamma-ray emission. MEGA will accomplish these goals using a tracker made of Si strip detector (SSD) planes surrounded by a dense high-Z calorimeter. At lower photon energies (below ~ 30 MeV), the design is sensitive to Compton interactions, with the SSD system serving as a scattering medium that also detects and measures the Compton recoil energy deposit. If the energy of the recoil electron is sufficiently high (> 2 MeV) its momentum vector can also be measured. At higher photon energies (above ~ 10 MeV), the design is sensitive to pair production events, with the SSD system measuring the tracks of the electron and positron. A prototype instrument has been developed and calibrated in the laboratory and at a gamma-ray beam facility. We present calibration results from the prototype and describe the proposed satellite mission.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 August 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5898, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIV, 589804 (18 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.617315
Show Author Affiliations
P. F. Bloser, Univ. of New Hampshire (United States)
J. M. Ryan, Univ. of New Hampshire (United States)
M. L. McConnell, Univ. of New Hampshire (United States)
J. R. Macri, Univ. of New Hampshire (United States)
U. Bravar, Univ. of New Hampshire (United States)
G. Kanbach, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
R. Andritschke, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
M. Ajello, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
A. Zoglauer, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)
S. D. Hunter, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
B. F. Phlips, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
E. A. Wulf, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
D. H. Hartmann, Clemson Univ. (United States)
R. S. Miller, Univ. of Alabama (United States)
W. S. Paciesas, Univ. of Alabama (United States)
A. D. Zych, Univ. of California/Riverside (United States)
R. M. Kippen, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
T. Vestrand, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
M. L. Cherry, Louisiana State Univ. (United States)
T. G. Guzik, Louisiana State Univ. (United States)
J. G. Stacy, Louisiana State Univ. (United States)
J. P. Wefel, Louisiana State Univ. (United States)
V. Reglero, Univ. of Valencia (Spain)
G. Di Cocco, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (Italy)
J. P. Cravens, Southwest Research Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5898:
UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIV
Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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