The SVOM GRB Mission

The Space-based multi-band astronomical Variable Object Monitor (SVOM) is a space mission dedicated to gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). This is a project jointly developed by the Chinese National Space Agency and the French Space Agency. SVOM is expected to detect all known kinds of GRBs, promptly provide reliable position information about GRBs, measure the broadband spectral shape and temporal properties of GRB prompt emissions, and quickly identify the associated soft X-ray and optical/near-infrared afterglows. The satellite is scheduled to be launched into low Earth orbit in 2021, with a nominal life of 5 years. The mission will also have dedicated ground-based scientific instruments, i.e. two Ground Follow-up optical/NIR Telescopes to measure photometric redshifts, and an array of Ground Wide Angle Cameras to catch prompt optical emissions. The GRB trigger and localization information will be transmitted to the ground in real time via a VHF network and then promptly distributed to ground-based observers via the Gamma-ray burst Coordinates Network. The observation strategy is near the antisolar point, to permit quick follow-up observations with ground-based telescopes for a large fraction of GRBs detected by SVOM.

NAOC is responsible for designing and running the Chinese Science Center of SVOM, which processes SVOM data, supports a rapid-response science team studying GRB events, coordinates follow-up observations, and assists astronomers in the General and Target of Opportunity programs.