8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 18 Gamma-ray Bursts
Poster, Thursday, September 9, 2004, 9:00am-10:00pm

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[18.04] The Imminent Swift GRB Mission

N. Gehrels (NASA/GSFC), Swift Team

Swift is a NASA MIDEX mission that is in development for launch in Fall 2004. It is a multiwavelength observatory for transient astronomy. The goals of the mission are to determine the origin of gamma-ray bursts and their afterglows and use bursts to probe the early Universe. The mission will also perform a hard x-ray survey at the 1 milliCrab level and will continuously monitor the sky for transients. A wide-field gamma-ray camera will detect more than a hundred GRBs per year to 3 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, arcsec positions will be determined and optical/UV/X-ray/gamma-ray spectrophotometry performed. The instrumentation is a combination of existing flight-spare hardware and design from XMM and Spectrum-X/JET-X contributed by collaborators in the UK and Italy and development of a coded-aperture camera with a large-area (~0.5 square meter) CdZnTe detector array. The ground station in Malindi is contributed by the Italian Space Agency. The instruments have now completed their fabrication phase and are currently being integrated on the observatory for final testing. Key components of the mission are vigorous follow-up and outreach programs to engage the astronomical community and public in Swift.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.