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The 2016 Super Pressure Balloon flight of the Compton Spectrometer and Imager

C. Kierans, S. Boggs, J.L. Chiu, A. Lowell, C. Sleator, J.A. Tomsick, A. Zoglauer, M. Amman, H.K. Chang, C.H. Tseng, C.Y. Yang, C.H. Lin, P. Jean, P. von Ballmoos

in 11th INTEGRAL Conference Gamma-Ray Astrophysics in Multi-Wavelength Perspective

Contribution: pdf


The Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI) is a balloon-borne, soft-gamma ray imager, spectrometer, and polarimeter with sensitivity from 0.2 to 5 MeV. Utilizing a compact Compton telescope design with twelve cross-strip, high-purity germanium detectors, COSI has three main science goals: study the 511 keV positron annihilation line from the Galactic plane, image diffuse emission from stellar nuclear lines, and perform polarization studies of gamma-ray bursts and other extreme astrophysical environments. COSI has just completed a successful 46-day flight on NASA's new Super Pressure Balloon, launched from Wanaka, New Zealand, in May 2016. We present an overview of the instrument and the 2016 flight, and discuss COSI's main science goals, predicted performance, and preliminary results.