17 October 2002
- MSSL provides the eyes for the world's most advanced gamma-ray telescope.
and staff at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory are eagerly awaiting
the launch of the latest European Space Agency satellite, INTEGRAL (INTErnational
Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory). It is a cooperative mission with Russia
and is scheduled for launch on 17 October 2002 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome,
Kazakhstan, on a Russian Proton rocket, the Russian contribution to the
programme. It is the world's most advanced gamma-ray telescope.
is to observe the objects producing the most energetic radiation in the
Universe. The spacecraft is due for launch in October 2002 and will help
to solve some of the biggest mysteries in astronomy.
Image courtesy ESA
atmosphere protects us from the harmful effects of gamma-rays from space,
which is why a satellite is needed to detect the violent events producing
in Integral is to provide the CCD imaging detector and its associated electronics
for the Optical Monitor Camera (OMC). The other countries involved with the
instrument are: Spain (LAEFF/INTA Madrid: PI, mechanical structure, power
supply electronics); Belgium (CSL Liège: Optical system); and Ireland
(DIAS/UCD Dublin: Ground Support Equipment).
OMC is a telescope-camera
providing simultaneous observations at optical wavelengths to the data from
the gamma-ray-sensitive instruments. This multi-wavelength coverage is needed
to unravel the complex processes occurring in such energetic objects as neutron
stars and black holes. The MSSL-provided electronics allow the high-resolution
Marconi CCD (1024x1024 pixels) to be read out with low noise and in a flexible
way in order to maximise the scientific value of the data returned to Earth.
Tel: 01483 204155
Tel: 01483 204190
about Integral and its role are on the following Internet Web pages: