AGILE: Instrument Overview

G. Barbiellini

G. Budini, F. Longo, M. Prest, E. Vallazza

M. Tavani, P. Caraveo, S. Mereghetti, F. Perotti, L. Soli, S. Vercellone

A. Morselli, P. Picozza, V. Cocco

E. Costa, M. Feroci, E. Morelli, M. Rapisarda, P. Soffitta

G. Di Cocco, C. Labanti

A. Pellizzoni


The AGILE scientific payload is based on the state-of-the-art and reliably developed technology of solid state silicon detectors. The instrument consists of a silicon-tungsten tracker (0.7   X0), a cesium iodide mini-calorimeter (1.5   X0), an anticoincidence system made of segmented plastic scintillators, fast readout electronics and processing units. The instrument is very light ( ~ 60 kg) and effective in detecting and monitoring gamma-ray sources within a large field of view.

The baseline AGILE instrument has been designed to obtain: (1) an excellent imaging capability in the energy range 100 MeV-50 GeV, improving the EGRET angular resolution by a factor of 2, and achieving a source location accuracy ~ 5-20 for intense sources; (2) a wide field-of-view, allowing simultaneous coverage of ~ 1/5 of the entire sky per pointing; (3) the shortest deadtime ever achieved ( 200 ms) for gamma-ray detection (a factor of ~ 500 better than that of EGRET), and a trigger based exclusively on silicon plane detectors; (4) a good sensitivity for point sources, comparable to that of EGRET for on-axis sources, and substantially better for off-axis sources; (5) a good sensitivity to photons in the energy range 30-100 MeV, obtained by efficient hardware and triggering capabilities.

AGILE will be able to provide spectral information with limited resolution, typically D E/E 1 at 100 MeV and D E/E ~ 2 at 1 GeV.

An X-ray detector, Super-AGILE, sensitive in the 10-40 keV band will provide hard X-ray imaging and moderate spectroscopy simultaneously with the gamma-ray detector. Imaging will be achieved by an ultra-light coded mask imaging system positioned on top of the gamma-ray tracker in combination with silicon detector tiles properly arranged on the first tracker plane.

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 2.32.
On 16 Jul 1999, 09:19.