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High-Energy Transient Experiment


Designation n/a / 96061A
Launch date 4 Nov 1996
Country of origin United States
Mission Scientific
Launch vehicle Pegasus XL #14

The prime objective of HETE is to carry out the first multiwavelength study of gamma-ray bursts with UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray instruments mounted on a single, compact spacecraft. A unique feature of the HETE mission is its capability to localize GRBs with ~10 arc second accuracy, in near real time aboard the spacecraft, and to transmit these positions directly to a network of receivers at existing ground-based observatories, enabling rapid, sensitive follow-up studies in the radio, IR, and optical bands.

HETE was carried inside the Dual Payload Attach Fixture on which SAC B was mounted, so it was trapped and was unable to deploy its solar panels.

End of life

Out of service 4 Nov 1996
Cause Failed to separate with the rocket
Decay April 2002

External resources



Technical data

Omnidirectional Gamma-Ray Spectrometer

Build by CESR (France)
Instrument type NaI(Tl); cleaved
Energy range 6 keV to > 1 MeV
Timing resolution 4 ms
Spectral resolution ~40% @ 6 keV; ~7% @ 1 MeV
Effective area 120 cm**2 (total for 4 units)
Sensitivity (10 sigma) 3 x 10**-8 erg/cm**2/s for 8-1000 keV
FOV ~ 2 pi sr
Angular resolution ~ 1 sr

Wide Field X-ray Monitor

Build by RIKEN (Japan) and LANL (USA)
Instrument type 2 1-dim Coded aperture cameras, with PSPCs
Energy range 2 to 25 keV
Timing resolution 1 ms
Spectral resolution ~18% @ 6 keV
Effective area 200 cm**2 (each of 2 units)
Sensitivity (10 sigma) 8 x 10**-9 erg/cm**2/s for 2-10 keV
FOV ~ 2 sr (combined)
Angular resolution (1 sigma) about 10 arcmin (location accuracy better than that)

Ultraviolet Transient Camera Array

Build by MIT (USA)
Instrument type 4 UV CCD Detectors with 35 mm f/2 optics
Energy range 5 to 7 eV
Timing resolution ~ 4 s
Spectral resolution n/a (Broadband imaging photometer)
Effective area 2.5 cm**2 (each of 4 units)
Sensitivity (10 sigma) 1 x 10**-9 erg/cm**2/s
FOV ~ 1.7 sr (total for 4 units)
Angular resolution (1 sigma) +/- 3 arcsec

The spacecraft hardware and software is being developed by Aeroastro (USA).

Downlink frequencies: 137.963 (300 bps) & 2272 MHz

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