FERMI- GLAST successfully launched on 11th June, 2008 : see Actualités
The GLAST telescope was renammed the FERMI telescope after its launch on Augudst 26th, 2008 as a tribute to the famous Italian physicist.
FERMI-GLAST: the next big gamma-ray telescope
FERMI-GLAST (Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope) is a NASA observatory dedicated to the study of gamma rays in the energy band between 20 MeV and 300 GeV. Offering a wide field of view and equipped with an experimental device inherited from large-scale particle detectors near accelerators, the main payload of the satellite – the LAT (Large Area Telescope) – will offer greatly improved performance compared with the previous mission, the EGRET telescope on the CGRO platform. For example, the gain in sensitivity achieved by LAT is such that observations which took 4 years with EGRET are now achieved in just a few days of integration with FERMI-GLAST. During the first year of the mission, the complete mapping of the sky will be carried out with unrivalled sensitivity and sharpness. As a result of this mission, scientists expect to discover 5,000 to 10,000 sources, allowing them to make a detailed study of the sky in this still largely unexplored energy range. The FERMI-GLAST satellite also carries on board a gamma-ray burst detector (GLAST Burst Monitor or GBM).
The main scientific objectives of the FERMI-GLAST mission include the study of acceleration mechanisms in pulsars, supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei, the identification of a group of sources which, though detected by the EGRET telescope, remain a mystery as far as their nature is concerned, the diffuse background due to the Milky Way, gamma-ray bursts and the search for dark matter in the universe.
FERMI-GLAST is the fruit of extensive international cooperation. The United States is prime contractor of the project and the other countries involved are France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Sweden. Although CEA/SAp is not participating in the construction of the telescope, it is completely or partially responsible for three important data analysis tasks: modelling interstellar emission, compiling the source catalogue and identifying the sources.
FERMI-GLAST has been successfully launched by a Delta II rocket on 11th, June 2008. The telescope has a nominal lifetime of five years, but this will probably be extended to 10 years.
last update : 11-26 17:13:18-2012 (2266)