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 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
sheet on INTEGRAL by ESA, and 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.
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.
Last update: 2019-02-12 by R. Diehl
Authorized by R. Diehl
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