AAS 197, January 2001
Session 73. Gamma Ray Bursts Observations and Analysis
Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[73.01] The Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer Mission at Penn State

J. Nousek, D. Burrows, M. Chester, P. Roming (Penn State), N. Gehrels (GSFC), Swift Team

The Swift GRB Explorer mission is designed to discover ~ 1000 new gamma-ray bursts in its three year planned life, and immediately (within tens of seconds) to start simultaneous X-ray, optical and ultraviolet observations of the GRB afterglow. After its planned launch in September, 2003, it will collect an impressive database of gamma ray bursts (reaching more sensitive limits than BATSE); uniform X-ray/UV/optical monitoring of afterglows (with a dedicated weatherless observatory with broad multi-wavelength imaging capability); and rapid followup by other observatories (utilizing a continuous ground link with burst alerts and data posted immediately to the GCN).

The Penn State Swift responsibilities include development of the X-ray Telescope (with CCDs from the University of Leicester and X-ray mirrors from OAB); the UV/Optical Telescope (with instrument fabrication at MSSL and SwRI); and development of the Mission Operations Center at PSU (with support from Omitron Corp.). After launch Swift will be operated from Penn State, with data analysis pipelines and data archives at Goddard Space Flight Center, Leicester and the Italian Science Data Center.

The mission, lead by Neil Gehrels of GSFC, has successfully concluded the Preliminary Design Review process, including the spacecraft to be built by SpectrumAstro. We show the current status of the PSU lead portions of the mission.

Funding for the Swift project at PSU is provided by NASA Contract NAS5-00136.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: nousek@astro.psu.edu

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