SVOM – the Space based multi-band astronomical Variable Objects Monitor – is a France-China mission due for launch in 2024. The University of Leicester has provided the micro-pore optics assembly for the Microchannel X-ray Telescope (MXT).
SVOM is designed to discover and follow-up astronomical transients, such as gamma-ray bursts. It provides rapid, autonomous response and will enhance the all-sky coverage of transients, a science area currently led by the Swift mission.
SVOM carries four instruments: the MXT, the ECLAIRS coded-mask instrument, the GRM scintillator instrument and the Visual Telescope. The SVOM project also operates several ground-based telescopes dedicated to observing the transients found by SVOM.
Leicester are co-Investigators on SVOM, and hence we have full access to the data which will be used to extend our wide-ranging studies in the areas of time-domain and multi-messenger astrophysics.