The AGILE Mission
Tavani, M. ; Barbiellini, G. ; Argan, A. ; Giommi, P. ; Colafrancesco, S. ; Viola, F. ; Guarrera, G. ; Salotti, L. ; Marchetti, Ernesto ; Crisconio, M. ; et al.
Aug - 2009
ISSN : 0004-6361 ;
journal : Astronomy and Astrophysics

Issue : 3
type: Article Journal

Context: AGILE is an Italian Space Agency mission dedicated to observing the gamma-ray Universe. The AGILEs very innovative instrumentation for the first time combines a gamma-ray imager (sensitive in the energy range 30 MeV-50 GeV), a hard X-ray imager (sensitive in the range 18-60 keV), a calorimeter (sensitive in the range 350 keV-100 MeV), and an anticoincidence system. AGILE was successfully launched on 2007 April 23 from the Indian base of Sriharikota and was inserted in an equatorial orbit with very low particle background. Aims: AGILE provides crucial data for the study of active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts, pulsars, unidentified gamma-ray sources, galactic compact objects, supernova remnants, TeV sources, and fundamental physics by microsecond timing. Methods: An optimal sky angular positioning (reaching 0.1 degrees in gamma-rays and 1-2 arcmin in hard X-rays) and very large fields of view (2.5 sr and 1 sr, respectively) are obtained by the use of Silicon detectors integrated in a very compact instrument. Results: AGILE surveyed the gamma-ray sky and detected many Galactic and extragalactic sources during the first months of observations. Particular emphasis is given to multifrequency observation programs of extragalactic and galactic objects. Conclusions: AGILE is a successful high-energy gamma-ray mission that reached its nominal scientific performance. The AGILE Cycle-1 pointing program started on 2007 December 1, and is open to the international community through a Guest Observer Program.

keywords : AGILE. F. Viola,E. Marchetti,F. DAmico,G. Guarrera,L. Salotti,M. Crisconio: ASI authors,X-rays: general,gamma rays: observations,instrumentation: detectors,techniques: high angular resolution,techniques: image processing