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Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische PhysikMPE

- Gamma-Ray Astronomy -

Project:   INTEGRAL


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INTEGRAL Spectrometer SPI

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  INTEGRAL is a European (ESA) Gamma-Ray Observatory Satellite Mission for the study of cosmic gamma-ray sources in the keV to MeV energy range. It was launched on 17th October 2002 for a 3+2year mission. Since 2008 INTEGRAL is in its "extended mission phase" and will be operated till at least into the 2020ies until its terminal re-entry into the Earth atmosphere in 2029. It celebrated 15 years in orbit (see THIS video). INTEGRAL has two main instruments, the Imager "IBIS" and the Spectrometer "SPI". (see Group fact sheet on INTEGRAL by ESA, and Group INTEGRAL Info (in german) by DLR)

->SPI is a coded-mask spectrometer telescope with a 19-element Germanium solid-state detector camera and a massive anticoincidence shield of BGO scintillation detectors. Science objectives are nucleosynthesis, relativistic-particle accelerators, and strong-field signatures in compact stars; this is studied through nuclear lines and spectral features in accreting binaries, pulsars, or solar flares, but also through energetic continuum radiation in the 20 keV - 10 MeV range from the variety of cosmic sources, including AGN and gamma-ray bursts.the SPI

SPI is a collaborative international gamma-ray astrophysics project, with CESR Toulouse and MPE as PI-Institutes (MPE Co-PI Roland Diehl). The MPE provided the anticoincidence system of SPI, while CESR provided the Ge Camera, and other institutes provided components such as coded mask and electronics systems. Total costs of the SPI instrument were 105 Mio EUR.
MPE monitors the in-flight operations and performance of the SPI  anticoincidence subsystem as one of the key detector components of SPI, and is responsible for its maintenance and operation during the mission. From this system's mission data, MPE derived and maintains a Gamma-Ray Burst Catalogue.  Data processing and initial analysis is centralized for INTEGRAL at the ISDC (ISDC Co-I from MPE is Andrew Strong).  CNES was the main industry contractor for instrument assembly. DLR supports the German part of INTEGRAL (~26M up to launch, ~2M Ops).

MPE's science studies with INTEGRAL employ gamma-ray line spectroscopy from radioactivities due to nucleosynthesis (diffuse emission and individual supernovae), and continuum emission in the 20 keV to few MeV band from sources such as diffuse Galactic cosmic rays, gamma-ray bursts, and other point sources (accreting binaries, pulsars, AGN). Major results by MPE scientists are tracking of current Galactic nucleosynthesis sources through 26Al and 60Fe decay gamma-rays and their deeper multi-wavelength study in specific star-forming regions, the positron annihilation imaging and its astrophysical investigation through the characteristic 511 keV line emission, the decomposition of Galactic-ridge gamma-ray emission into its various source components and their interpretation, population studies on active galaxies and their emission beyond 20 keV into the Compton-thick regime, and transient gamma-ray outbursts from violent sources such as magnetars and gamma-ray bursts.

More: A Report of the first Main-Mission Funding Period in Germany 2002-2010 (in german).
         Science publications since 2002 until now are listed here.


Last update: 2019-02-12 by R. Diehl mail
Authorized by R. Diehl mail
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