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SVOM [SVOM collaboration]

The SVOM (Space Variable Objects Monitor) satellite observatory is a Chinese-French collaboration dedicated to the study of GRBs (Gamma-Ray Bursts). The mission's goal is to study the most powerful explosions in the universe back to the first generation of stars. SVOM will find hundreds of GRBs that indicate the deaths of massive stars or the merging of two compact stars. In both cases, the explosion produces a black hole or a young magnetar surrounded by a torus of matter that rapidly accretes onto the compact object (in seconds), releasing massive amounts of energy in two transient relativistic jets. When one of the jets is pointed at the Earth, a bright high energy transient followed by a bright low energy transient can be observed.

The satellite carries two wide field high energy instruments:

  • The ECLAIRs telescope to detect and localise gamma bursts in the X-ray band and low-energy gamma rays (from 4 to 250 keV). (France)
  • The GRM (Gamma Ray Burst Monitor) to measure the spectrum of high-energy bursts (from 15 keV to 5000 keV). (China)

Two narrow field telescopes that can measure the evolution of the afterglow after a slew of the satellite:

  • The MXT telescope (Microchannel X-ray Telescope) for the observation of gamma burst in the soft X-ray range (0.2 to 10 keV). (France)
  • The VT telescope (Visible Telescope) operating in the visible range to detect and observe the visible emission produced immediately after a gamma burst. (China)

The ground segment also includes additional instrumentation, such as a GWAC (Ground Wide Angle optical Camera) that monitors the field of view of the ECLAIRs in real time during a portion of the orbit, and two 1 m class robotic GFTs (Ground Follow-up Telescopes).

Nation: China, France
Type / Application: Astronomy, multi-wavelength
Equipment: ECLAIRs, GRM, MXT, VT
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 3 years
Mass: 930 kg
Orbit: 625 km, 30
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
SVOM - 2023 Xi LC-3 CZ-2C (3)

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