INTEGRAL (INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) is a European mission in partnership with Russia and United States, aimed at observing one of the most energetic radiations in the Universe from space. In a range between 15 keV and 10 MeV, INTEGRAL’s instruments study remnants of supernovae, neutron stars, black holes, active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts. The four instruments point simultaneously to the same sky region, allowing a clear identification of the source.

Some of the most energetic processes happening in the sky will be finally shown in studies, such as the study on dense objects (neutron stars and black holes), nucleosynthesis in supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. The combination between the sub minute of arc space resolution of the IBIS imager and the keV spectrum resolution of the SPI (SPectrometer on Integral) germanium detector makes INTEGRAL a way more powerful diagnostic instrument than all the previous and also recent missions (SIGMA and GRO).

SPI’s main goal is observing the gamma-ray lines, such as 26AI, 44Ti and 22Na, in our galaxy, to track nucleosynthesis processes. Mapping aluminium will make it possible to track star formation in the galactic disk, while titanium and sodium, created in explosive processes, should tell us whether there are recent remnants of supernova in the disk.

IBIS, characterized by a large field of sight, helped to detect several new gamma-ray sources mainly by mapping the region in the centre of our galaxy and started to provide relevant results in the field of extragalactic astronomy.

The INAF Institute of Space Astrophysics and Cosmic Physics, under the coordination of the ASI, is the PI of the main instrument of the satellite, the IBIS telescope, which also includes a French contribution for the X-ray detection plane. It contributed also to the Integral Scientific Data Centre (ISDC).

Italy provided also a significant contribution to manufacturing the SPI spectrometer, which falls under the responsibility of France. All the working groups of the different sections (Rome, Palermo, Bologna and Milan) are currently involved in the flight operations related to optimizing the operation of on-board detectors and calibration stage, which happens every 6 months. Furthermore, these working groups participate from a scientific point of view in mission control activities carried out at the ESOC/ESA operation centre and the ISDC.

Furthermore, the SSDC has the task to host a copy of the data reduction software for scientific instruments and the archive of public data related to the mission, to guarantee their distribution and support the scientific community in data analysis. The SSDC closely works with the ISDC, INTEGRAL Scientific Data Centre, which is in charge of receiving and reducing on-ground data.

‣ News

WEDNESDAY 20 MAY 2020

The Prisma Mission opens to the community ‣

Now that the commissioning phase and the calibration/validation activities have been completed PRISMA is finally ready to open the mission exploitation by the user community. MORE...

THURSDAY 30 APRIL 2020

The Earth’s tides move the continents ‣

Astronomical forces such as solid Earth’s tides play an active role on plate tectonics: this is the results of a research conducted by the Sapienza University of Rome, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV). MORE...

THURSDAY 16 APRIL 2020

Cheops is ready for hunting ‣

The scientific operations of the space mission Cheops officially started. The mission, with an important Italian participation, explores the Universe to give us an in-depth look at new worlds MORE...

MONDAY 02 SEPTEMBER 2019

IKUNS NanoSatellite, a virtuous example of the Italo-Kenyan Cooperation in the Space sector ‣

The project was presented on August 24th 2019, during an event dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci MORE...

THURSDAY 22 AUGUST 2019

Parmitano starts Nutriss ‣

Nutriss will be the first scientific activity of ASI in orbit for Luca Parmitano, astronaut of the European Space Agency on the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the third of six Italian experiments is ready to take off. MORE...