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Paper: The Swift GRB MIDEX Mission
Volume: 312, Third Rome Workshop on Gamma-Ray Bursts in the Afterglow Era
Page: 495
Authors: Gehrels, N.
Abstract: Swift is a first-of-its-kind multiwavelength transient observatory for gamma-ray burst astronomy. It has the optimum capabilities for the next breakthroughs in determining the origin of gamma-ray bursts and their afterglow, as well as using bursts to probe the early Universe. Swift will also perform the first sensitive hard X-ray survey of the sky. The mission is being developed by an international collaboration and consists of three instruments, the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), the X-ray Telescope (XRT), and the Ultraviolet and Optical Telescope (UVOT). The BAT, a wide-field gamma-ray detector, will detect > 100 gamma-ray bursts per year with a sensitivity 5 times that of BATSE. The sensitive narrow-field XRT and UVOT will be autonomously slewed to the burst location in 20 to 70 seconds to determine 0.3 - 5.0 arcsec positions and perform optical, UV and X-ray spectrophotometry. Strong education/public outreach and follow-up programs will help to engage the public and astronomical community. The Swift launch is planned for December 2003.
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