The MEGA project for medium energy gamma-ray astronomy
The Medium Energy Gamma-ray Astronomy (MEGA) telescope concept will soon be proposed as a MIDEX mission. This mission would enable a sensitive all-sky survey of the medium-energy gamma-ray sky (0.4-50 MeV) and bridge the huge sensitivity gap between the COMPTEL and OSSE experiments on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and the visionary Advanced Compton Telescope (ACT) mission. The scientific goals include compiling a much larger catalog of sources in this energy range, performing far deeper searches for supernovae, better measuring the galactic continuum and line emissions, and identifying the components of the cosmic diffuse gamma-ray emission. MEGA records and images gamma rays by completely tracking Compton and pair creation events in a stack of double-sided Si strip detectors surrounded by a pixellated CsI calorimeter. A prototype instrument has been developed and calibrated in the laboratory and at a gamma-ray beam facility. We present calibration results from the prototype and describe the proposed satellite mission.