First burst detected by the ECLAIRs telescope

The coded mask, recently integrated on the ECLAIRs telescope, makes it possible to localise X-ray sources in the instrument’s field of view. This crucial feature for the detection of gamma-ray bursts was tested from 17 to 20 May at CNES by teams from CEA, IRAP and CNES. On this occasion, the ECLAIRs computer processed the camera data in real time for the first time and detected an X-ray source placed in front of the instrument. The animation below, built from the recorded data, illustrates the detection of the source whose intensity is controlled to mimic the behaviour of a gamma-ray burst that suddenly appears. The image on the left shows the image recorded by the detector and the image on the right the decoded image. When the source is sufficiently bright, the coded mask pattern is projected onto the detection plane and the decoding performed by the computer shows the presence of the source in the centre of the field of view.

Left: detector image. Right: decoded image

The computer software searches for and locates bright spots in the decoded images and sends alerts if one is detected. Once in orbit, the alert provided by ECLAIRs will be the starting point for an observation sequence to study the source in several wavelengths with the SVOM mission’s observation facilities, in space or on the ground, or with other instruments of the international scientific community.

IRAP Contact

  • Jean-Luc Atteia, Jean-Luc.Atteia@irap.omp.eu

More news

News

Harvest of scientific results for the Solar Orbiter mission

For a mission that has just entered its primary science phase, Solar Orbiter has already produced many remarkable results. Published on December 14, 2021, a special issue of Astronomy and […]

21.01.2022

News

Green light for the latest developments of the PLATO mission

ESA’s PLATO mission has been given the green light to continue its development after a successful critical review on January 11, 2022. PLATO, or PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars, […]

14.01.2022

News

Solar Orbiter publishes a wealth of science results from its cruise phase

For a mission yet to have entered its main science phase, Solar Orbiter has already generated a lot of great science. Today sees the publication of a wealth of results […]

15.12.2021

Search