The Swift X-Ray Telescope

David N. Burrows, J. E. Hill, J. A. Nousek, A. Wells, G. Chincarini, A. F. Abbey, A. Beardmore, J. Bosworth, H. W. Bräuninger, W. Burkert, S. Campana, M. Capalbi, W. Chang, O. Citterio, M. J. Freyberg, P. Giommi, G. D. Hartner, R. Killough, B. Kittle, R. KlarC. Mangels, M. McMeekin, B. J. Miles, A. Moretti, K. Mori, D. C. Morris, K. Mukerjee, J. P. Osborne, A. D.T. Short, G. Tagliaferri, F. Tamburelli, D. J. Watson, R. Willingale, M. Zugger

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The Swift Gamma-Ray Explorer is designed to make prompt multiwavelength observations of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) and GRB Afterglows. The X-ray Telescope (XRT) provides key capabilities that permit Swift to determine GRB positions with a few arcseconds accuracy within 100 seconds of the burst onset. The XRT utilizes a superb mirror set 1 built for JET-X 2 and a state-of-the-art XMM/EPIC MOS CCD detector 3,4 to provide a sensitive broad-band (0.2-10 keV) X-ray imager with effective area of 135 cm 2 at 1.5 keV, field of view of 23.6 × 23.6 arcminutes, and angular resolution of 18 arcseconds (HEW). The detection sensitivity is 2×10 -14 erg/cm 2/s in 10 4 seconds. The instrument is designed to provide automated source detection and position reporting within 5 seconds of target acquisition. It can also measure redshifts of GRBs for bursts with Fe line emission or other spectral features. The XRT will operate in an auto-exposure mode, adjusting the CCD readout mode automatically to optimize the science return for each frame as the source fades. The XRT will measure spectra and lightcurves of the GRB afterglow beginning about a minute after the burst and will follow each burst for days as it fades from view.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventX-Ray and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy XIII - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2003Aug 5 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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