Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik
- Gamma-Ray Astronomy -
|Search||MPE Gamma-Ray Astronomy Projects INTEGRAL|
INTEGRAL Spectrometer SPI
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 and will be operated till
at least 2014 or beyond. INTEGRAL has two main instruments, the Imager
and the Spectrometer "SPI". (see fact
sheet on INTEGRAL by ESA, and INTEGRAL
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.
SPI is a collaborative international project, with CESR Toulouse and MPE as PI-Institutes (MPE Co-PI Roland Diehl). The MPE provided the anticoincidence system of SPI (SPI ACS Project Manager and Co-I Giselher Lichti, ACS Specialist and Co-I Andreas von Kienlin), 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. (see science publications here).
Last update: 2011-03-22 by R. Diehl
Authorized by R. Diehl
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