Chineese, French, German, and Mexican teams participate to the SVOM consortium. The goal is to study gamma ray bursts, intense flashes of light carrying a large quantity of energy in a very short time duration.
SVOM is a powerful multi-wavelength instrument to follow up gravitational-wave alerts or transient sources in the Universe. The IJCLab group joined the SVOM consortium in 2014.
SVOM instruments are shared between space and the ground. Four instruments are installed in the SVOM satellite:
- ECLAIRs: French instrument with a wide field of view to observe the sky between 4 keV and 250 keV. It triggers on gamma-ray bursts and starts an alert sequence. ECLAIRs is complemented by the GRM at higher energy.
- GRM: Chineese instrument made of three detectors to increase the energy coverage up to 5 MeV and to increase the field of view.
- MXT: Wide field of view telescope covering energies from 0.2 keV to 10 keV. After repointing the satellite, MXT follows and loclaizes the gamma-ray source. MXT is also used for the multi-messenger program.
- VT: Optical instrument to maximize the localization accuracy of gamma-ray sources
The data is quickly downloaded to the ground via a VHF network. Alerts can be followed up by ground instruments.
Several SVOM ground telescopes offer a full follow-up:
- GWAC: camera matrix to cover 5000 deg2 in the sky.
- F30 and F60 telescopes are used to characterize sources detected by the GWAC.
- C-GFT: 1 meter telescope based in Juling, China, to observe sources in optical wavelengths.
- F-GFT: 1 meter telescope based in San-Pedro Martir, Mexico, to observe sources in optical and infrared wavelengths.
Contributions of the Gravitational-Wave group
The group develops and maintains the onboard scientific software of MXT. It also participates to the ground segment: the VirtualData computing cluster at IJCLab is used as an integration system for ground analyses.
The IJCLab group also manages the low-latency analysis of VHF messages sent by MXT. In response to an alert, the group designs observation plans for multi-messenger follow-ups.
Finally, SVOM observations are integrated in the FINK alert system for the Vera Ruubin telescope.