Blazars, Quasars, and Swift

Swift was the first satellite I worked on at Goddard Space Flight Center. I designed the thermal controller used to regulate the temperature of the detector array in the Burst Alert Telescope, the bias power regulators for the detectors, and the ultra-quiet power supplies for the detector electronics. Here’s some of the science done with the Burst Alert Telescope.

Video Credit: NASA


On  23 April, 2014, the rising tide of X-rays from a superflare on red dwarf DG CVn triggered the Swift satellite’s Burst Alert Telescope (BAT). The satellite turned to observe the source in greater detail with its other instruments and notified astronomers around the globe that a powerful outburst was in progress.

BTW, my principal contribution to the Swift satellite was the design and testing of the ultra-quiet power regulation system for the sensor array in the BAT.

Video Credit: NASA