is the European Space Agency's INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory
satellite. Its mission is to observe the objects producing the most energetic
radiation in the Universe. The
spacecraft was launched from Baikonur on the 17th October 2002. INTEGRAL will
help to solve some of the biggest mysteries in astronomy. The Earth's 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 the gamma-rays.
role 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).
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.
impression of Integral