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BeppoSAX U.S. Coordination Facility

BeppoSAX US Coordination Facility

  • Activities of the Coordinatation Facility
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    • US
    • SAX-SDC in Italy

SAX is a major program of the Italian Space agency (ASI) with participation of the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace programs (NIVR). SAX was developed with the support of a consortium of institutes in Italy, The Netherlands and the Space Science Department of ESA . A collaboration with the Max-Planck Institute of Extraterrestirial Physics also exists for X-ray mirror testing and the calibration of the concentrator/spectrometer system.

The acronym SAX stands for "Satellite per Astronomia X", italian for "X-Ray Astronomy Satellite". SAX was successfully launched on April 30 1996 and renamed BeppoSAX in honor of Giuseppe Occhialini . After a period of commissioning phase and Science Verification Phase BeppoSAX started the AO1 observations in late Fall 1996.

The Italian-Dutch BeppoSAX satellite is uniquely able to measure simultaneously, with cross-calibrated instruments, the spectrum of both galactic and extragalactic objects from 0.1 to over 300 keV. The principal science goals include measurement of the broadband spectrum of AGN, broad-band spectral monitoring of galactic X-ray binaries, and detection of X-ray (2-30 keV) counterparts to gamma-ray bursts using the Wide Field Cameras.

NASA's 1996 Senior Review of Astrophysics Mission Operations and Data Analysis Programs recommended that "given the excellent record of the HEASARC in providing cost-effective analysis tools and user-friendly archives, the Committee feels that MO&DA funding for SAX should be focused there. The Committee believes that the establishment of a SAX archive will give US scientists access to a valuable observational capability and an important archive of high energy astrophysics data at extremely modest cost."

Following these recommendations a BeppoSAX US coordination facility was established at the HEASARC in February 1997. This facility is working closely with the BeppoSAX Science Data Center (SDC) in Rome, and the BeppoSAX instrument teams to support the US community in carrying out their SAX Guest Investigator programs. In addition the HEASARC is providing multimission analysis and other supporting software to the BeppoSAX team.

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This file was last modified on Tuesday, 15-Jan-2008 11:41:51 EST