AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 131. Astronomical Instrumentation and Data Handling
Oral, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 10:00-11:30am, 613-614

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[131.02] The Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer

D. N. Burrows (Penn State University), Swift Team

Swift is a NASA gamma-ray burst MIDEX mission that is in development for launch in 2003. It is a multiwavelength transient observatory for GRB astronomy. The goals of the mission are to determine the origin of GRBs and their afterglows and to use bursts to probe the early Universe. Swift will also perform a survey of the hard X-ray sky to a sensitivity level of ~0.6 mCrab. A wide-field camera will detect hundreds of GRBs per year to 5 times fainter than BATSE. Sensitive narrow-field X-ray and UV/optical telescopes will be pointed at the burst location in 20 to 70 sec by an autonomously controlled "swift" spacecraft. For each burst, Swift will determine arcsec positions and will perform optical/UV/X-ray/gamma-ray spectrophotometry. Measurements of redshift will be performed for many of the bursts. The instrumentation is a combination of superb existing flight-spare hardware and design from XMM and Spectrum-X/JET-X, and development of a coded-aperture camera with a large-area (~0.5 square meter) CdZnTe detector array. The spacecraft bus and two of the three instruments have been delivered to NASA and are being integrated at Goddard Space Flight Center, with the final instrument delivery imminent. Key components of the mission are vigorous follow-up and outreach programs to engage the public and astronomical community in Swift.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.