The Swift gamma-ray burst mission

N. Gehrels, G. Chincarini, P. Giommi, K. O. Mason, John Andrew Nousek, A. A. Wells, N. E. White, S. D. Barthelmy, David Nelson Burrows, L. R. Cominsky, K. C. Hurley, F. E. Marshall, Peter Istvan Meszaros, P. W.A. Roming, L. Angelini, L. M. Barbier, T. Belloni, S. Campana, P. A. Caraveo, M. M. ChesterO. Citterio, T. L. Cline, M. S. Cropper, J. R. Cummings, A. J. Dean, Eric Feigelson, E. E. Fenimore, D. A. Frail, A. S. Fruchter, G. P. Garmire, K. Gendreau, G. Ghisellini, J. Greiner, J. E. Hill, S. D. Hunsberger, H. A. Krimm, S. R. Kulkarni, P. Kumar, F. Lebrun, N. M. Lloyd-Ronning, C. B. Markwardt, B. J. Mattson, R. F. Mushotzky, J. P. Norris, J. Osborne, B. Paczynski, D. M. Palmer, H. S. Park, A. M. Parsons, J. Paul, M. J. Rees, C. S. Reynolds, J. E. Rhoads, T. P. Sasseen, B. E. Schaefer, A. T. Short, A. P. Smale, I. A. Smith, L. Stella, G. Tagliaferri, T. Takahashi, M. Tashiro, Leisa K. Townsley, J. Tueller, M. J.L. Turner, M. Vietri, W. Voges, M. J. Ward, R. Willingale, F. M. Zerbi, W. W. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The Swift mission, scheduled for launch in 2004, is a multiwavelength observatory for gamma-ray burst (GRB) astronomy. It is a first-of-its-kind autonomous rapid-slewing satellite for transient astronomy and pioneers the way for future rapid-reaction and multiwavelength missions. It will be far more powerful than any previous GRB mission, observing more than 100 bursts yr -1 and performing detailed X-ray and UV/optical afterglow observations spanning timescales from 1 minute to several days after the burst. The objectives are to (1) determine the origin of GRBs, (2) classify GRBs and search for new types, (3) study the interaction of the ultrarelativistic outflows of GRBs with their surrounding medium, and (4) use GRBs to study the early universe out to z > 10. The mission is being developed by a NASA-led international collaboration. It will carry three instruments: a new-generation wide-field gamma-ray (15-150 keV) detector that will detect bursts, calculate 1′-4′ positions, and trigger autonomous spacecraft slews; a narrow-field X-ray telescope that will give 5″ positions and perform spectroscopy in the 0.2-10 keV band; and a narrow-field UV/optical telescope that will operate in the 170-600 nm band and provide 0″.3 positions and optical finding charts. Redshift determinations will be made for most bursts. In addition to the primary GRB science, the mission will perform a hard X-ray survey to a sensitivity of ∼1 mcrab (∼2 × 11-11 ergs cm-2 s-1 in the 15-150 keV band), more than an order of magnitude better than HEAO 1 A-4. A flexible data and operations system will allow rapid follow-up observations of all types of high-energy transients, with rapid data downlink and uplink available through the NASA TDRSS system. Swift transient data will be rapidly distributed to the astronomical community, and all interested observers are encouraged to participate in follow-up measurements. A Guest Investigator program for the mission will provide funding for community involvement. Innovations from the Swift program applicable to the future include (1) a large-area gamma-ray detector using the new CdZnTe detectors, (2) an autonomous rapid-slewing spacecraft, (3) a multiwavelength payload combining optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray instruments, (4) an observing program coordinated with other ground-based and space-based observatories, and (5) immediate multiwavelength data flow to the community. The mission is currently funded for 2 yr of operations, and the spacecraft will have a lifetime to orbital decay of ∼8 yr.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1020
Number of pages16
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume611
Issue number2 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 20 2004

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gamma ray bursts
spacecraft
astronomy
bursts
slewing
observatory
gamma rays
detectors
observatories
erg
x rays
HEAO 1
telescopes
outflow
innovation
spectroscopy
timescale
data systems
charts
afterglows

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Gehrels, N., Chincarini, G., Giommi, P., Mason, K. O., Nousek, J. A., Wells, A. A., ... Zhang, W. W. (2004). The Swift gamma-ray burst mission. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 611(2 I), 1005-1020. https://doi.org/10.1086/422091
Gehrels, N. ; Chincarini, G. ; Giommi, P. ; Mason, K. O. ; Nousek, John Andrew ; Wells, A. A. ; White, N. E. ; Barthelmy, S. D. ; Burrows, David Nelson ; Cominsky, L. R. ; Hurley, K. C. ; Marshall, F. E. ; Meszaros, Peter Istvan ; Roming, P. W.A. ; Angelini, L. ; Barbier, L. M. ; Belloni, T. ; Campana, S. ; Caraveo, P. A. ; Chester, M. M. ; Citterio, O. ; Cline, T. L. ; Cropper, M. S. ; Cummings, J. R. ; Dean, A. J. ; Feigelson, Eric ; Fenimore, E. E. ; Frail, D. A. ; Fruchter, A. S. ; Garmire, G. P. ; Gendreau, K. ; Ghisellini, G. ; Greiner, J. ; Hill, J. E. ; Hunsberger, S. D. ; Krimm, H. A. ; Kulkarni, S. R. ; Kumar, P. ; Lebrun, F. ; Lloyd-Ronning, N. M. ; Markwardt, C. B. ; Mattson, B. J. ; Mushotzky, R. F. ; Norris, J. P. ; Osborne, J. ; Paczynski, B. ; Palmer, D. M. ; Park, H. S. ; Parsons, A. M. ; Paul, J. ; Rees, M. J. ; Reynolds, C. S. ; Rhoads, J. E. ; Sasseen, T. P. ; Schaefer, B. E. ; Short, A. T. ; Smale, A. P. ; Smith, I. A. ; Stella, L. ; Tagliaferri, G. ; Takahashi, T. ; Tashiro, M. ; Townsley, Leisa K. ; Tueller, J. ; Turner, M. J.L. ; Vietri, M. ; Voges, W. ; Ward, M. J. ; Willingale, R. ; Zerbi, F. M. ; Zhang, W. W. / The Swift gamma-ray burst mission. In: Astrophysical Journal Letters. 2004 ; Vol. 611, No. 2 I. pp. 1005-1020.
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author = "N. Gehrels and G. Chincarini and P. Giommi and Mason, {K. O.} and Nousek, {John Andrew} and Wells, {A. A.} and White, {N. E.} and Barthelmy, {S. D.} and Burrows, {David Nelson} and Cominsky, {L. R.} and Hurley, {K. C.} and Marshall, {F. E.} and Meszaros, {Peter Istvan} and Roming, {P. W.A.} and L. Angelini and Barbier, {L. M.} and T. Belloni and S. Campana and Caraveo, {P. A.} and Chester, {M. M.} and O. Citterio and Cline, {T. L.} and Cropper, {M. S.} and Cummings, {J. R.} and Dean, {A. J.} and Eric Feigelson and Fenimore, {E. E.} and Frail, {D. A.} and Fruchter, {A. S.} and Garmire, {G. P.} and K. Gendreau and G. Ghisellini and J. Greiner and Hill, {J. E.} and Hunsberger, {S. D.} and Krimm, {H. A.} and Kulkarni, {S. R.} and P. Kumar and F. Lebrun and Lloyd-Ronning, {N. M.} and Markwardt, {C. B.} and Mattson, {B. J.} and Mushotzky, {R. F.} and Norris, {J. P.} and J. Osborne and B. Paczynski and Palmer, {D. M.} and Park, {H. S.} and Parsons, {A. M.} and J. Paul and Rees, {M. J.} and Reynolds, {C. S.} and Rhoads, {J. E.} and Sasseen, {T. P.} and Schaefer, {B. E.} and Short, {A. T.} and Smale, {A. P.} and Smith, {I. A.} and L. Stella and G. Tagliaferri and T. Takahashi and M. Tashiro and Townsley, {Leisa K.} and J. Tueller and Turner, {M. J.L.} and M. Vietri and W. Voges and Ward, {M. J.} and R. Willingale and Zerbi, {F. M.} and Zhang, {W. W.}",
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Gehrels, N, Chincarini, G, Giommi, P, Mason, KO, Nousek, JA, Wells, AA, White, NE, Barthelmy, SD, Burrows, DN, Cominsky, LR, Hurley, KC, Marshall, FE, Meszaros, PI, Roming, PWA, Angelini, L, Barbier, LM, Belloni, T, Campana, S, Caraveo, PA, Chester, MM, Citterio, O, Cline, TL, Cropper, MS, Cummings, JR, Dean, AJ, Feigelson, E, Fenimore, EE, Frail, DA, Fruchter, AS, Garmire, GP, Gendreau, K, Ghisellini, G, Greiner, J, Hill, JE, Hunsberger, SD, Krimm, HA, Kulkarni, SR, Kumar, P, Lebrun, F, Lloyd-Ronning, NM, Markwardt, CB, Mattson, BJ, Mushotzky, RF, Norris, JP, Osborne, J, Paczynski, B, Palmer, DM, Park, HS, Parsons, AM, Paul, J, Rees, MJ, Reynolds, CS, Rhoads, JE, Sasseen, TP, Schaefer, BE, Short, AT, Smale, AP, Smith, IA, Stella, L, Tagliaferri, G, Takahashi, T, Tashiro, M, Townsley, LK, Tueller, J, Turner, MJL, Vietri, M, Voges, W, Ward, MJ, Willingale, R, Zerbi, FM & Zhang, WW 2004, 'The Swift gamma-ray burst mission', Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 611, no. 2 I, pp. 1005-1020. https://doi.org/10.1086/422091

The Swift gamma-ray burst mission. / Gehrels, N.; Chincarini, G.; Giommi, P.; Mason, K. O.; Nousek, John Andrew; Wells, A. A.; White, N. E.; Barthelmy, S. D.; Burrows, David Nelson; Cominsky, L. R.; Hurley, K. C.; Marshall, F. E.; Meszaros, Peter Istvan; Roming, P. W.A.; Angelini, L.; Barbier, L. M.; Belloni, T.; Campana, S.; Caraveo, P. A.; Chester, M. M.; Citterio, O.; Cline, T. L.; Cropper, M. S.; Cummings, J. R.; Dean, A. J.; Feigelson, Eric; Fenimore, E. E.; Frail, D. A.; Fruchter, A. S.; Garmire, G. P.; Gendreau, K.; Ghisellini, G.; Greiner, J.; Hill, J. E.; Hunsberger, S. D.; Krimm, H. A.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Kumar, P.; Lebrun, F.; Lloyd-Ronning, N. M.; Markwardt, C. B.; Mattson, B. J.; Mushotzky, R. F.; Norris, J. P.; Osborne, J.; Paczynski, B.; Palmer, D. M.; Park, H. S.; Parsons, A. M.; Paul, J.; Rees, M. J.; Reynolds, C. S.; Rhoads, J. E.; Sasseen, T. P.; Schaefer, B. E.; Short, A. T.; Smale, A. P.; Smith, I. A.; Stella, L.; Tagliaferri, G.; Takahashi, T.; Tashiro, M.; Townsley, Leisa K.; Tueller, J.; Turner, M. J.L.; Vietri, M.; Voges, W.; Ward, M. J.; Willingale, R.; Zerbi, F. M.; Zhang, W. W.

In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 611, No. 2 I, 20.08.2004, p. 1005-1020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Swift gamma-ray burst mission

AU - Gehrels, N.

AU - Chincarini, G.

AU - Giommi, P.

AU - Mason, K. O.

AU - Nousek, John Andrew

AU - Wells, A. A.

AU - White, N. E.

AU - Barthelmy, S. D.

AU - Burrows, David Nelson

AU - Cominsky, L. R.

AU - Hurley, K. C.

AU - Marshall, F. E.

AU - Meszaros, Peter Istvan

AU - Roming, P. W.A.

AU - Angelini, L.

AU - Barbier, L. M.

AU - Belloni, T.

AU - Campana, S.

AU - Caraveo, P. A.

AU - Chester, M. M.

AU - Citterio, O.

AU - Cline, T. L.

AU - Cropper, M. S.

AU - Cummings, J. R.

AU - Dean, A. J.

AU - Feigelson, Eric

AU - Fenimore, E. E.

AU - Frail, D. A.

AU - Fruchter, A. S.

AU - Garmire, G. P.

AU - Gendreau, K.

AU - Ghisellini, G.

AU - Greiner, J.

AU - Hill, J. E.

AU - Hunsberger, S. D.

AU - Krimm, H. A.

AU - Kulkarni, S. R.

AU - Kumar, P.

AU - Lebrun, F.

AU - Lloyd-Ronning, N. M.

AU - Markwardt, C. B.

AU - Mattson, B. J.

AU - Mushotzky, R. F.

AU - Norris, J. P.

AU - Osborne, J.

AU - Paczynski, B.

AU - Palmer, D. M.

AU - Park, H. S.

AU - Parsons, A. M.

AU - Paul, J.

AU - Rees, M. J.

AU - Reynolds, C. S.

AU - Rhoads, J. E.

AU - Sasseen, T. P.

AU - Schaefer, B. E.

AU - Short, A. T.

AU - Smale, A. P.

AU - Smith, I. A.

AU - Stella, L.

AU - Tagliaferri, G.

AU - Takahashi, T.

AU - Tashiro, M.

AU - Townsley, Leisa K.

AU - Tueller, J.

AU - Turner, M. J.L.

AU - Vietri, M.

AU - Voges, W.

AU - Ward, M. J.

AU - Willingale, R.

AU - Zerbi, F. M.

AU - Zhang, W. W.

PY - 2004/8/20

Y1 - 2004/8/20

N2 - The Swift mission, scheduled for launch in 2004, is a multiwavelength observatory for gamma-ray burst (GRB) astronomy. It is a first-of-its-kind autonomous rapid-slewing satellite for transient astronomy and pioneers the way for future rapid-reaction and multiwavelength missions. It will be far more powerful than any previous GRB mission, observing more than 100 bursts yr -1 and performing detailed X-ray and UV/optical afterglow observations spanning timescales from 1 minute to several days after the burst. The objectives are to (1) determine the origin of GRBs, (2) classify GRBs and search for new types, (3) study the interaction of the ultrarelativistic outflows of GRBs with their surrounding medium, and (4) use GRBs to study the early universe out to z > 10. The mission is being developed by a NASA-led international collaboration. It will carry three instruments: a new-generation wide-field gamma-ray (15-150 keV) detector that will detect bursts, calculate 1′-4′ positions, and trigger autonomous spacecraft slews; a narrow-field X-ray telescope that will give 5″ positions and perform spectroscopy in the 0.2-10 keV band; and a narrow-field UV/optical telescope that will operate in the 170-600 nm band and provide 0″.3 positions and optical finding charts. Redshift determinations will be made for most bursts. In addition to the primary GRB science, the mission will perform a hard X-ray survey to a sensitivity of ∼1 mcrab (∼2 × 11-11 ergs cm-2 s-1 in the 15-150 keV band), more than an order of magnitude better than HEAO 1 A-4. A flexible data and operations system will allow rapid follow-up observations of all types of high-energy transients, with rapid data downlink and uplink available through the NASA TDRSS system. Swift transient data will be rapidly distributed to the astronomical community, and all interested observers are encouraged to participate in follow-up measurements. A Guest Investigator program for the mission will provide funding for community involvement. Innovations from the Swift program applicable to the future include (1) a large-area gamma-ray detector using the new CdZnTe detectors, (2) an autonomous rapid-slewing spacecraft, (3) a multiwavelength payload combining optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray instruments, (4) an observing program coordinated with other ground-based and space-based observatories, and (5) immediate multiwavelength data flow to the community. The mission is currently funded for 2 yr of operations, and the spacecraft will have a lifetime to orbital decay of ∼8 yr.

AB - The Swift mission, scheduled for launch in 2004, is a multiwavelength observatory for gamma-ray burst (GRB) astronomy. It is a first-of-its-kind autonomous rapid-slewing satellite for transient astronomy and pioneers the way for future rapid-reaction and multiwavelength missions. It will be far more powerful than any previous GRB mission, observing more than 100 bursts yr -1 and performing detailed X-ray and UV/optical afterglow observations spanning timescales from 1 minute to several days after the burst. The objectives are to (1) determine the origin of GRBs, (2) classify GRBs and search for new types, (3) study the interaction of the ultrarelativistic outflows of GRBs with their surrounding medium, and (4) use GRBs to study the early universe out to z > 10. The mission is being developed by a NASA-led international collaboration. It will carry three instruments: a new-generation wide-field gamma-ray (15-150 keV) detector that will detect bursts, calculate 1′-4′ positions, and trigger autonomous spacecraft slews; a narrow-field X-ray telescope that will give 5″ positions and perform spectroscopy in the 0.2-10 keV band; and a narrow-field UV/optical telescope that will operate in the 170-600 nm band and provide 0″.3 positions and optical finding charts. Redshift determinations will be made for most bursts. In addition to the primary GRB science, the mission will perform a hard X-ray survey to a sensitivity of ∼1 mcrab (∼2 × 11-11 ergs cm-2 s-1 in the 15-150 keV band), more than an order of magnitude better than HEAO 1 A-4. A flexible data and operations system will allow rapid follow-up observations of all types of high-energy transients, with rapid data downlink and uplink available through the NASA TDRSS system. Swift transient data will be rapidly distributed to the astronomical community, and all interested observers are encouraged to participate in follow-up measurements. A Guest Investigator program for the mission will provide funding for community involvement. Innovations from the Swift program applicable to the future include (1) a large-area gamma-ray detector using the new CdZnTe detectors, (2) an autonomous rapid-slewing spacecraft, (3) a multiwavelength payload combining optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray instruments, (4) an observing program coordinated with other ground-based and space-based observatories, and (5) immediate multiwavelength data flow to the community. The mission is currently funded for 2 yr of operations, and the spacecraft will have a lifetime to orbital decay of ∼8 yr.

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UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=6044239653&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/422091

DO - 10.1086/422091

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:6044239653

VL - 611

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EP - 1020

JO - Astrophysical Journal Letters

JF - Astrophysical Journal Letters

SN - 2041-8205

IS - 2 I

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Gehrels N, Chincarini G, Giommi P, Mason KO, Nousek JA, Wells AA et al. The Swift gamma-ray burst mission. Astrophysical Journal Letters. 2004 Aug 20;611(2 I):1005-1020. https://doi.org/10.1086/422091