The HEAO-3 Satellite


photo of HEAO-3 in the clean room
The HEAO-3 satellite carried three high-energy-astrophysics instruments, one instrument surveying the sky in hard X-rays and gamma rays, and two measuring the composition of cosmic rays. The High Resolution Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Experiment built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was the largest germanium spectrometer placed in orbit at that time. The cosmic-ray instruments, one built by a Danish-French collaboration and the other built as a collaboration among Washington University in St. Louis, Caltech, and University of Minnesota were the largest cosmic-ray detectors to have flown in space.

Mission Characteristics

* Lifetime: 20 September 1979 - 29 May 1981
* Energy Range: 50 keV - 10 MeV
* Payload:
  • High Resolution Gamma Ray Spectrometer (HRGRS):
    50 keV - 10 MeV, FOV 30°, effective area 75 cm2 at 100 keV (JPL, UCSD)
  • Cosmic Ray Isotope Experiment (DSRI, Saclay)
  • Heavy Nuclei Experiment (CalTech, Washington University in St. Louis, and U. of Minnesota)
* Science Highlights: Sky survey of gamma-ray narrow-line emission.

* Archive: HEASARC holds the HRGRS data in their native format. Other HEAO-3 data sets are at the NSSDC in their native format.


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Last modified: Tuesday, 01-May-2012 10:00:37 EDT