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Proceedings Paper

GRI: focusing on the evolving violent universe
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Paper Abstract

The Gamma-Ray Imager (GRI) is a novel mission concept that will provide an unprecedented sensitivity leap in the soft gamma-ray domain by using for the first time a focusing lens built of Laue diffracting crystals. The lens will cover an energy band from 200 - 1300 keV with an effective area reaching 600 cm2. It will be complemented by a single reflection multilayer coated mirror, extending the GRI energy band into the hard X-ray regime, down to ~10 keV. The concentrated photons will be collected by a position sensitive pixelised CZT stack detector. We estimate continuum sensitivities of better than 10-7 ph cm-2s-1keV-1 for a 100 ks exposure; the narrow line sensitivity will be better than 3 x 10-6 ph cm-2s-1 for the same integration time. As focusing instrument, GRI will have an angular resolution of better than 30 arcsec within a field of view of roughly 5 arcmin - an unprecedented achievement in the gamma-ray domain. Owing to the large focal length of 100 m of the lens and the mirror, the optics and detector will be placed on two separate spacecrafts flying in formation in a high elliptical orbit. R&D work to enable the lens focusing technology and to develop the required focal plane detector is currently underway, financed by ASI, CNES, ESA, and the Spanish Ministery of Education and Science. The GRI mission is proposed as class M mission for ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program. GRI will allow studies of particle acceleration processes and explosion physics in unprecedented detail, providing essential clues on the innermost nature of the most violent and most energetic processes in the Universe.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6688, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy III, 668806 (18 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.732844
Show Author Affiliations
Jürgen Knödlseder, Ctr. d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements, UPS, CNRS (France)
Peter von Ballmoos, Ctr. d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements, UPS, CNRS (France)
Filippo Frontera, Univ. of Ferrara (Italy)
Angela Bazzano, INAF-IASF, Rome (Italy)
Finn Christensen, Danish National Space Ctr. (Denmark)
Margarida Hernanz, Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)
Cornelia Wunderer, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6688:
Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy III
Stephen L. O'Dell; Giovanni Pareschi, Editor(s)

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