The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) is a high energy gamma-ray mission that has recently been included in the strategic plan of NASA's Office of Space Science. The mission is being studied and technology developed for flight in 2004. GLAST is designed to operate in the energy range from 10 MeV to 300 GeV with a factor of 50 improvement in sensitivity compared to EGRET. It will identify and study nature's high-energy particle accelerators through observations of active galactic nuclei, pulsars, stellar- mass black holes, supernova remnants, gamma-ray bursts and the diffuse galactic and extragalactic high energy radiation. The current baseline configuration for the instrument consists of a tracker made of thin sheets of high-Z material for pair conversion interspersed with Si strip detectors, and a CsI calorimeter. Because of this technical approach, GLAST can be realized as an intermediate class mission, yet has a broader energy range, larger area, wider field-of-view, and better angular resolution than EGRET. The GLAST science objectives, design and observational capabilities will be described.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1997