AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 97. Gamma Ray Bursts, SGRs and Black Holes
Oral, Thursday, June 3, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Grand Ballroom

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[97.03] Swift - Phase A Study of a Gamma Ray Burst MIDEX Mission

N. Gehrels (NASA GSFC), Swift Science Team

The Swift gamma-ray burst MIDEX proposal has recently been selected by NASA for Phase A study. Swift is a multiwavelength transient observatory for GRB astronomy. The goals of the mission are to determine the origin of GRBs and their afterglows and use bursts to probe the early Universe. A wide-field camera will detect hundreds of GRBs per year to 5 times fainter than BATSE. Sensitive narrow-field X-ray and UV/optical telescopes will be pointed at the burst location in 20 to 70 sec by an autonomously controlled "swift" spacecraft. For each burst, 0.3 - 2.5 arcsec positions will be determined and optical/UV/X-ray/gamma-ray spectrophotometry performed. On-board measurements of redshift will be performed for many of the bursts. The instrumentation is a combination of superb existing flight-spare hardware from XMM and Spectrum-X/JET-X and straight-forward development of a coded-aperture CdZnTe camera. Key components of the mission are vigorous follow-up and outreach programs to engage the public and astronomical community in Swift.

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