AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 116 HEAD I: SWIFT
Special Session, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 10:00-11:30am, Town and Country

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[116.01] The Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission

N. Gehrels (NASA-GSFC), Swift Team

Swift is a NASA Explorer mission that will be launched in late 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 75 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. 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 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.