AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 97 Instrumentation, Ground-based and Space-based Gamma Ray Bursts
Oral, Thursday, June 3, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, 702

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[97.06] The Swift Gamma Ray Burst Mission

J.P. Norris (NASA/GSFC), Swift Team

Swift, scheduled for launch in 2004, is a NASA MIDEX mission specially designed for multiwavelength observations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The primary goals of the mission are to determine the origin of GRBs and their afterglows, and to use bursts to probe the early Universe. 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 20-70 seconds by the autonomously controlled "swift" spacecraft. For each burst, arc second positions will be determined and optical/UV/X-ray/gamma-ray spectrophotometry performed. Measurements of redshift will be made 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, 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 fabrication phase is now complete and the instruments are 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. The talk will describe the mission and its status and give a summary of our plans for GRB operations.

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