Between 1995 and 2002 the National Space Institute was responsible for the development and manufacture of two JEM-X X-ray monitor instruments, for the ESA’s gamma-ray observatory INTEGRAL. INTEGRAL was launched in October 2002 and has been continuously observing the gamma-ray sky since then. The mission is expected to last until 2010. The NSI is responsible for maintaining the two JEM-X instrument units and providing public analysis software for the INTEGRAL Science Data Center (ISDC) in Geneva.
The JEM-X instrument is a product of a consortium with participants from Denmark, Finland, Spain, Italy, Poland and Sweden.
The primary scientific objective of JEM-X is to investigate the emission at X-ray energies from the sources being studied with the gamma-ray instruments. JEM-X will also provide accurate positions of new sources discovered by INTEGRAL.
The overall purpose of INTEGRAL is to detect some of the most energetic radiation that comes from space. The primary scientific objectives for INTEGRAL are to study the ongoing synthesis of chemical elements in nova and supernova explosions and the behaviour of matter in superstrong magnetic and gravitational fields near neutron stars and black holes. In addition to new knowledge about gamma-ray sources known prior to the launch of INTEGRAL, the mission has, thanks to its unique capabilities, discovered new types of sources and phenomena. It is the most sensitive gamma-ray observatory launched and it provides astronomers a direct view of the gamma-ray sky. Results to date includes: a new class of enshrouded X-ray sources and a detailed map of antimatter annihilation in the center of our Galaxy. INTEGRAL has now been in orbit for 5 years.
Niels Jørgen Westergaard.