Volume 411, Number 1, November III 2003
Special letters issue on: first science with integral
|Page(s)||L1 - L6|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
Letter to the Editor
The INTEGRAL mission
ESA-ESTEC, Research and Scientific Support Department, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands
2 INTEGRAL Science Data Centre, Chemin d'Écogia 16, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
3 Geneva Observatory, Ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
4 IASF/CNR, Sezione di Bologna, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
5 NASA-GSFC, Code 661, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
6 LAEFF-INTA, PO Box 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
7 Space Research Institute, Profsoyuznaya 84/32, 117810 Moscow, Russia
8 SRON-Utrecht, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
9 Center for Astrobiology (CSIC–INTA), 28850 Torrejon de Ardoz, Spain
10 Service d'Astrophysique, CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
11 DSRI, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen OE, Denmark
12 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Universita degli Studi di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
13 CESR, Boite Postale 4346, 31029 Toulouse, France
14 Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138-1516, USA
15 Max-Planck Institut für extraterr. Physik, Postfach 1603, 85740 Garching, Germany
16 Max-Planck Institut für Astrophysik, Postfach 1317, 85741 Garching, Germany
17 IASF/CNR, via del Fosso del Cavaliere, 00133 Rome, Italy
18 Astronomy Group, Physics Department, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Corresponding author: C. Winkler, Christoph.Winkler@rssd.esa.int
Accepted: 21 August 2003
The ESA observatory INTEGRAL (International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) is dedicated to the fine spectroscopy (2.5 keV FWHM @ 1 MeV) and fine imaging (angular resolution: 12 arcmin FWHM) of celestial gamma-ray sources in the energy range 15 keV to 10 MeV with concurrent source monitoring in the X-ray ( keV) and optical (V-band, 550 nm) energy ranges. INTEGRAL carries two main gamma-ray instruments, the spectrometer SPI (Vedrenne et al. [CITE]) – optimized for the high-resolution gamma-ray line spectroscopy (20 keV–8 MeV), and the imager IBIS (Ubertini et al. [CITE]) – optimized for high-angular resolution imaging (15 keV–10 MeV). Two monitors, JEM-X (Lund et al. [CITE]) in the () keV X-ray band, and OMC (Mas-Hesse et al. [CITE]) in optical Johnson V-band complement the payload. The ground segment includes the Mission Operations Centre at ESOC, ESA and NASA ground stations, the Science Operations Centre at ESTEC and the Science Data Centre near Geneva. INTEGRAL was launched on 17 October 2002. The observing programme is well underway and sky exposure (until June 2003) reaches ~1800 ks in the Galactic plane. The prospects are excellent for the scientific community to observe the high energy sky using state-of-the-art gamma-ray imaging and spectroscopy. This paper presents a high-level overview of INTEGRAL.
Key words: gamma-ray astronomy / space observatory
© ESO, 2003
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