AGILE (satellite)

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AGILE
Mission type Gamma-ray astronomy
Operator ASI
COSPAR ID 2007-013A
SATCAT № 31135
Website agile.rm.iasf.cnr.it
Mission duration 8 years[citation needed]
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Carlo Gavazzi Space
Launch mass 352 kilograms (776 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 23 April 2007, 10:00:00 (2007-04-23UTC10Z) UTC
Rocket PSLV C8
Launch site Satish Dhawan SLP
Contractor ISRO
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Semi-major axis 6,892.13 kilometres (4,282.57 mi)
Eccentricity 0.0017574
Perigee 509 kilometres (316 mi)
Apogee 533 kilometres (331 mi)
Inclination 2.47 degrees
Period 94.90 minutes
Epoch 4 December 2013, 04:13:37 UTC[1]

AGILE (Astro‐Rivelatore Gamma a Immagini Leggero) is an X-ray and Gamma ray astronomical satellite of the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

Objectives[edit]

AGILE's mission is to observe gamma-ray sources in the universe. Key scientific objectives of the AGILE Mission include the study of:[2]

  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Gamma-Ray Bursts
  • X-ray and gamma galactic sources
  • Non-identified gamma sources
  • Diffuse galactic gamma emissions
  • Diffuse extra-galactic gamma emissions
  • Fundamental physics

Instrumentation[edit]

AGILE's instrumentation includes a Gamma Ray Imaging Detector (GRID) sensitive in the 30 MeV - 50 GeV energy range, a SuperAGILE (SA) hard X-ray monitor sensitive in the 18–60 keV energy range, a Mini-Calorimeter (MCAL) non-imaging gamma-ray scintillation detector sensitive in the 350 keV - 100 MeV energy range,[3] and an Anti-coincidence System (AC), based on a plastic scintillator, to assist with suppressing unwanted background events.

The SuperAGILE SA is an instrument based on a set of four silicon strip detectors, each equipped with one-dimensional coded mask. The SA is designed to detect X-Ray signals from known sources and burst-like signals. It provides long-term monitoring of flux and spectral features. MCAL can also effectively detect high-energy radiation bursts in its energy band.

Results[edit]

AGILE was successfully launched on 23 April 2007, from the Indian base of Sriharikota and was inserted in an equatorial orbit with low particle background. On 23 April 2007, ASI made contact with AGILE; its signals were acquired by the ground station at the Broglio Space Centre near Malindi, Kenya and it was placed in a sun-pointing mode.[4] Some transient events detected by AGILE are associated with positions not consistent with a known source (Gamma Ray Burst) and have cosmological origins. Others are due to solar flares, while some are due to Earth atmosphere events (Terrestrial Gamma Flash).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peat, Chris (4 December 2013). "AGILE - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  2. ^ ASI AGILE
  3. ^ Scientific Goals and Instrument Performance of the Gamma-Ray Imaging Detector AGILE
  4. ^ "It will be Israeli satellite in August". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 25 April 2007.