INTEGRAL News Archive for 1995 - 2000

15 December 2000: Spectrometer SPI FM nearing completion

Following the delivery of ESA's cryo-coolers last week, the SPI flight hardware is now complete and testing of the integrated instrument proceeds at CNES as scheduled.
Images of the SPI flight model hardware can be found here: Fig.1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3,Fig. 4


01 November 2000: ESA released Announcement of Opportunity (AO-1)

Today, the ESA Scientific Directorate has released the Announcement of Opportunity (AO-1) for observing proposals
with INTEGRAL. Further details can be found on the ISOC WWW page.

  • Announcement for the release of the INTEGRAL AO-1 Call for Observing Proposals

10 October 2000: The flight model of the OMC has been delivered to ESA
Today the FM for the OMC has been officially delivered during a ceremony in INTA, Madrid. OMC is the first FM instrument
delivererd for INTEGRAL and the first PI instrument ever delivered from Spain to ESA.


19 September 2000: Response to INTEGRAL AO-1: Call for Letters of Intent
By the deadline of 15 Sep 2000 , the ISOC at ESA received 241 Letters of Intent, with a total of approximately 700 proposals.



08 August 2000: 4th INTEGRAL Workshop
More than 230 scientists from all over the world met in Alicante from 4 - 8 Sep 2000 during the 4th INTEGRAL workshop
"Exploring the gamma-ray universe"  see details on proceedings and deadlines


04 August 2000:INTEGRAL AO-1: Call for Letters of Intent
In view of the forthcoming INTEGRAL Announcement of Opportunity AO-1 you can find here the official Call for Letters of Intent and the Executive Summary of the INTEGRAL AO-1.


04 June 2000: Compton GRO Mission terminated on 04 June 2000

On June 4, 2000, apx 9:00 am (GMT) the Compton GRO mission was terminated via a controlled re-entry maneouvre.

CGR-re-entryCGRO re-entry

From: Alan Bunner (NASA HQ, Washington)
Date: June 01, 2000

Dear Colleagues,
This week witnesses the end of one of the most productive satellites in the history of high energy astrophysics - the deorbiting of Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for the fine efforts and scientific advances that have come from your participation in this mission - spanning fields as diverse as solar physics, galactic and extragalactic astronomy, cosmology. We transformed a Principal Investigator satellite into a Great Observatory. We created a vigorous Guest Observer community. We moved the field of gamma-ray astronomy from a peripheral subject into mainstream astrophysics. With the early failure of tape recorders, we turned adversity into opportunity and created a new discipline - rapid response astrophysics. I share the deep disappointment that many of you feel with the deliberate deorbiting of an operating spacecraft. This has not been easy for any of us involved. I can only say that, from the point of view of those faced with making such a difficult decision, engineers and managers at GSFC and executives at NASA Headquarters, the mighty weight of the responsibility for human lives has been hard to ignore. It's true that risks are often considered acceptable in scientific research. But, perhaps unlike defense research or medical research, gamma ray astrophysics is not one of those fields where we can justify very much public risk. Compton Observatory has returned nine years of productive science for a mission designed for a two year life. NASA is rushing to complete HETE-2, HESSI, Swift, and GLAST. ESA will launch INTEGRAL in early 2002. We will soon have several new and improved tools for our trade in space. Meanwhile, I thank you for your many contributions to promote this field and place it center stage. You can be proud of this mission.

Alan Bunner
Science Program Director, Structure and Evolution of the Universe 202-358-0364

22 May 2000: 4th INTEGRAL Workshop: Scientific Programme

The scientific programme has been established. Programme and abstracts can be found here.

10 April 2000: New launch date 22 April 2002

During a payload status review held at ESTEC today, the overall instruments and spacecraft schedules were discussed and the current launch date for INTEGRAL was set to be 22 April 2002.

04 April 2000: 
More than 80 astrophysicists from all over the world travelled to the small town of Les Diablerets in the Swiss Alps to learn how to use ESA's Integral satellite, once it is in orbit, to gather powerful gamma-radiation coming from distant objects in the Universe.
More can be found 

16 December 1999: 
Proceedings 3rd INTEGRAL workshop (Taormina, Sep 1998)

The proceedings are available as volumes 38 and 39 (1999) of Astrophysical Letters & Communications.

14 October 1999: 
Signature of the launcher adaptation contract for INTEGRAL

The contract for the Proton Launcher Adaptation for Integral was signed today at the ESA Permanent Mission in Moscow. This followed the successful completion of a lengthy approval process for the Arrangement between ESA and Russia on Cooperation on the Integral Project
Click here for full story and images.

Call for papers: 4th INTEGRAL workshop 27 September 1999 The first announcement (and call for papers) for the 4th INTEGRAL workshop has been circulated to the scientific commuity at large. For further information and deadlines please look at WWW pages of  INTEGRAL workshop LOC.


20 September 1999: PROTON launcher approved by Government of the Russian Federation


Moscow, September 20 (RIA-Novosti News Agency, translated from Russian)
The Government of the Russian Federation has approved the Arrangement
between the European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency Concerning
Cooperation in the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL).
The governmental Department of Information informed the RIA-Novosti News
Agency that an appropriate instruction was signed by the Prime-Minister
Vladimir Putin.
According to this instruction, now included in the Russian Federal Space Program
are the works related to the manufacturing of the PROTON launcher (including
the nose fairing), the Upper Stage and the launch services, as well as the task
of establishing a Russian Scientific Data Centre for the INTEGRAL Project.
This work will be financed from the Federal Budget already provided in the
Sections called "Space Research and Use" and "Fundamental Research and
Development of the Scientific and Technical Progress".
The Ministry of Defense of Russia is allowed to participate, on a contractual
base with the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, in the work related to
implementation of the INTEGRAL Project.

EM Programme completed

The spacecraft EM programme, conducted at the prime contractor's premises (Alenia, Torino/Italy) has been completed. Instrument FM programmes are underway.

08 July 1999:

Launch date

Following a review of instrument FM schedules the launch date has been adjusted to 25 October 2001

25 March 1999: 
Launch date

Following detailed mission analysis by ESOC, the INTEGRAL launch by PROTON is foreseen for 11 September 2001.

March 1999: 
3rd and 4th INTEGRAL workshops

The proceedings of the 3rd workshop (Taormina, Sep 1998) are in press. Preparations for the 4th INTEGRAL workshop have begun. This workshop will take place in Alicante/Spain from 4-8 September 2000.

March 1999: 
New Launch date

Following a payload development status and schedule review in January 1999, ESA decided to shift the launch of INTEGRAL to September 2001.

November 1998: 
EM programme

After successfull completion of the STM programme, the EM AIV programme has commenced at Alenia, prime contractor for INTEGRAL.


September 1998: 
3rd INTEGRAL Workshop

The succesful series of INTEGRAL workshops continued with the 3rd INTEGRAL workshop "The Extreme Universe" which was held 14 - 18 Sep 1998 in Taormina, Sicily. More than 250 scientists gathered to review and discuss latest observational and theoretical progress made on scientific topics related to INTEGRAL research. Proceedings will be published in March 1999.

14 August 1998: Newsletter

The ESA INTEGRAL project team has published the first issue of the INTEGRAL newsletter.

15 June 1998: 
New orbit

The baseline INTEGRAL orbit using the PROTON launcher has been modified and the new parameters are: orbital period 72 hours, (initial) inclination 51.6 deg, (initial) height of perigee: 10.000 km, (initial) height of apogee: 153.000 km


05 June 1998: 
INTEGRAL STM programme

The spacecraft STM programme is in progress at ESTEC. The full spacecraft (service module and payload module) is shown in these images:
The INTEGRAL spacecraft STM,
The INTEGRAL spacecraft and representatives of the industrial consortium,
The INTEGRAL spacecraft STM above the large solar simulator
Earlier images of the PLM can be accessed below.

02 June 1998: 
SRD and Instrument h/w design review

The system requirement document (SRD) and the data package for the Instrument hardware design review (IHDR) can be accessed via the "project documentation" link.

25 May/2 June 1998: 

The testing of the INTEGRAL structural/thermal model is in "full swing" at ESTEC. Pictures of the payload module during STM in ESTEC can be found here:

Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3, Fig. 4.


15 May 1998: 
3rd INTEGRAL Workshop, Sep 1998, Taormina

The preliminary programme and apx 300 abstracts are now available on the workshop web pages.

18 March 1998: 
3rd INTEGRAL Workshop, Sep 1998, Taormina

The deadline for abstract submission (15 March) has been passed and apx. 290 abstracts have been received by the LOC. Scheduling is in progress.

09 February 1998:

The ISOC software design is progressing well within in its SR phase. Check out the ISOC SR Master Mind Map .


18 November 1997: 
ESA and RKA sign Memorandum of Understanding

Today, Mr Koptev (Russian Space Agency) and Mr Rodota (ESA) have signed the Memorandum of Understanding which confirms that the Russian PROTON launcher will be used for INTEGRAL.


22 September 1997: 
The 3rd INTEGRAL Workshop

The first circular and call for papers for the 3rd INTEGRAL workshop (14 - 18 Sep 1998, Taormina, Italy) has been published.

04 September 1997: 
Mass Model results

The SPI and IBIS pages provide now a direct link with the Southampton Mass Model results (Monte Carlo simulations for background, efficiency, sensitivity).


01/02 July 1997: 
INTEGRAL SWT meeting #8

The ISWT met in Rome (CNR headquarters). The agenda included status reports on instrument development, spacecraft and ground segment including launcher status. The gamma-ray burst detection processes from on-board to on-ground were reviewed. Data right issues concerning targets of opportunity and targets in the field of view were discussed.

09 June 1997: 

The INTEGRAL (initial) operational orbits have been modified as follows: BASELINE (Proton): apogee 75000 km, perigee 46000 km, inclination 51.6 deg, argument of perigee 284 deg, orbital period 48 hrs, max eclipse duration 1.8 hrs, BACK-UP (ARIANE 5): apogee 114000 km, perigee 7000 km, inclination 65 deg, argument of perigee 280 deg, orbital period 48 hrs, max eclipse duration 1.5 hrs


03 April 1997: 
2nd INTEGRAL Workshop St Malo

The proceedings have been printed and mailing to workshop participants is underway. To obtain additional copies, please consult the workshop WWW page.


25/26 February 1997: 
INTEGRAL Science Working Team Meeting #7

During its 7th meeting on 25/26 Feb the status of spacecraft, instruments and science ground segment was reported. Instruments are entering phase C/D. The spacecraft will undergo a Detailed Design Review in May 1997. Instrument sensitivities and design status after Instrument Baseline Design Review (Jan/Feb) have been presented. A baseline strategy for the Galactic Plane scans of the Core Programme has been adopted.


29 January 1997: 
INTEGRAL science telemetry and St Malo workshop

Following a recommendation from the ISWT at its last meeting, the project agreed to increase the total INTEGRAL telemetry allocation from 70 kbps to 90 kbps. The total allocation to instruments is 85.8 kbps (including instrument housekeeping).

All papers submitted for the proceedings of the INTEGRAL workshop (Sep 1996, Saint Malo/France) have been refereed and final papers have been re-submitted by all authors. Publication of the proceedings is scheduled for March 1997.


02 January 1997: 
INTEGRAL Science Working Team Meetings #5 and #6 and 2nd INTEGRAL Workshop St. Malo

The ISWT gathered in October and December 1996 for the 5th and 6th meeting. Main items which were presented and discussed included the share of the science telemetry, in particular for the IBIS instrument; the current status of the launchers and ground segment; planning of the core programme; on ground rapid response to GRB detections; mass modelling, simulations and instrument sensitivities; science operations concept; baseline dithering patterns.

Prof Herb Schnopper retired in 1996 as director of DSRI/Copenhaguen and as PI of JEM-X. Herb will remain Co-I in the INTEGRAL/JEM-X collaboration led by Dr Niels Lund/DSRI as PI.

Almost all papers for the proceedings of the 2nd INTEGRAL workshop (St Malo, Sep 1996) have passed the referee process and final papers are being received.


23 September 1996: 
2nd INTEGRAL Workshop St. Malo

Over 200 participants have attended a very exciting workshop. The page for the 2nd INTEGRAL workshop in St. Malo has been updated. You will find there: Final Scientific programme, abstracts and schedule, note to authors, and preparation kit for camera-ready papers.


10 June 1996: 
INTEGRAL Related Publications

A list of related INTEGRAL publicationswill be maintained on the WWW from now on.


29/30 May 1996: 
INTEGRAL Science Working Team Meeting #4

During the two-day meeting, the status of the project, instruments, the data centre and ground segment was reviewed and related issues discussed in detail. The instrument science verification review and the ISDC user requirements review are completed. Progress is being made on the issues of common ground payload calibration, on-board handling of GRB triggers, core programme planning, various issues of data rights (ie. TOO's), and mass model. Next major activity is the Spaceraft and Ground Segment Preliminary Design Review (kick-off 11 June) which terminates Phase B.


23 May 1996: 
INTEGRAL workshop

Over 177 abstracts have been received. Programme information and scheduling of papers will be made available in July 1996.


10 April 1996: 
Update INTEGRAL WWW pages for ISDC

The "User requirement review" for the ISDC is on-going (until Mid May 96). Some updates to the ISDC pages have been implemented.


19 March 1996: 
Update INTEGRAL WWW pages

Following the Instrument Science Verification Review and on-going activities in the spacecraft and ground segment areas have led to a review and update af allmost all INTEGRAL WWW pages.


08 February 1996: 
Experiment Interface Document (A)

The updated EID-A (rev. 2) is now available as PDF file in the INTEGRAL Project Documentation section.


06 February 1996: 
2nd INTEGRAL Workshop St. Malo

The page for the 2nd INTEGRAL workshop in St. Malo has been updated. You will find there: 2nd circular and call for papers, workshop registration and hotel accommodation forms, preparation kits for abstracts and camera-ready papers.


02 February 1996: 
Updates to the INTEGRAL WWW page

We now have included a link to INTA/Madrid, the home of the OMC. Also the INTEGRAL Project Documentation area has been revised. Please refer to overview page.


23/24 January 1996: 
INTEGRAL Science Working Team Meeting #3

During the two-day meeting, the status of the project, instruments data centre and ground segment was reviewed and related issues discussed in detail. Main items on which agreements could be reached include: spacecraft baseline dithering modes during observation, implementation of a particle radiation monitor, re-allocation of payload mass resources, review of INTEGRAL turn-around time to target of opportunities, ISWT share of guaranteed time. Next major milestones are the Instrument Science Verification Reviews (March 1996), the ISDC User Requirement Review (April 1996) and the Spacecraft Preliminary Design Review (May 1996).


10 January 1996: 
Russian Mission Scientist nominated

Dr. Sergei A Grebenev, Space Research Institute Moscow (IKI) has been nominated as Russian Mission Scientist for INTEGRAL.


03 November 1995: 
Integral Science Working Team Meeting #2

The 2nd ISWT Meeting took place 17/18 October at ESTEC. Progress on instrument, spacecraft and ground segment developments has been reported. Some instrument performance parameters have been updated (see "PAYLOAD" on overview page). Study activities by ISWT working groups on-going on subjects like "integrated payload calibrations", "core programme definition", "system approach to handle GRB events", "TOO data rights" etc. The System Requirement Review was kicked off 19 Oct and the review process will be terminated 23 Nov 1995. Spacecraft, instruments and ground segment requirements are under review.


15 September 1995: 
Integral Science Working Team

NASA nominates Dr. B.J. Teegarden as NASA representative for ground station support on the INTEGRAL Science Working Team


08 September 1995: 
IMAGER has got a name

The collaboration of the Imager instrument has given a name to the instrument: IBIS (Imager on Board of the Integral Satellite).


01 September 1995: 
Have a look at INTEGRAL Project documentation

Check out the updated section "Other INTEGRAL related information" on the overview page how to look at and retrieve INTEGRAL Project Public Documentation.


29 August 1995: 
Animation of accretion around black hole

Check out the updated science section on "Compact Objects" or click here for an animation of accretion around a black hole.


End August 1995: 
2nd INTEGRAL Workshop (first circular)

The first circular of the 2nd INTEGRAL workshop "The Transparent Universe" has been released. Click here for more information.

20/21 June 1995:
INTEGRAL Science Working Team Meeting #1

The ISWT #1 (kick-off) took place on 20/21 June 1995 and was attended by all PI's, Co-PI's, Mission Scientists, representatives from NASA and Russia, and ESA staff in charge of the project. Development status on instrument, spacecraft and the science ground segment was presented and discussed. Spacecraft (main contractor: Alenia, Torino, Italy) and instrument developments take place in parallel Phase B's. Tasks for Mission Scientists have been outlined. Status of Integral activities in Russia and USA has been reported. The ISWT #2 is scheduled for 17/18 October 1995 at ESTEC, followed by the System Requirements Review on 19 October.

31 May 1995: 
Announcement of Opportunity: SELECTION PROCESS COMPLETED

The ESA Science Programme Committee has approved the selection of the following scientific instruments to be flown on INTEGRAL and the Science Data Centre. The AO selection process has been terminated on schedule.


Co-PI's: Gilbert Vedrenne (CESR Toulouse) and Volker Schoenfelder (MPE Garching).


PI: Pietro Ubertini (IAS Frascati), Co-PI's: Guido DiCocco (ITESRE Bologna) and Francois Lebrun (CE-Saclay).


PI: Herb Schnopper (DSRI Lyngby)


PI: Alvaro Gimenez (INTA Madrid).


PI: Thierry Courvoisier (Obs. Geneva).

All PI teams are made up by large international collaborations from scientific institutes from almost all 14 ESA member states, USA, Russia and Poland.

The following Mission Scientists have been nominated so far: Jacques Paul (Saclay), Giorgio Palumbo (Bologna), Wim Hermsen (Utrecht), Neil Gehrels (NASA).

Russian Academy of Science has nominated Academician Rashid A. Sunyaev as the Russian representative in support of the Proton launcher for the ISWT.


March 1995:
PROTON Launcher

The ESA Council has approved the arrangement (MoU) between ESA and Russian Space Agency RKA on collaboration on INTEGRAL. The document is ready to be signed on highest level by the parties involved.