ESA/INTEGRAL Operations Scientist My other research interests include the study of thermo-nuclear explosions on neutron stars (called Type I X-ray bursts), as well as binary parameters determinations of compact star systems. Other subjects of interest include research on various types of Cataclysmic Variables.
One of my current research projects is related to INTEGRAL. The Galactic bulge of our Milky Way is a rich host of variable hard X-ray and gamma-ray sources. These mainly comprise of low-mass and high-mass X-ray binaries containing either a neutron star or black-hole. Since February 2005 I have a program with colleagues from over the globe to monitor the source activity in this region regularly and frequently with INTEGRAL. With a field of view of about 15x15 degrees we monitor about 100 sources every INTEGRAL orbit (about 3 days) for 3.5 hours, whenever the region is visible by INTEGRAL. As a service to the scientific community the X-ray and gamma-ray light curves and images are made available as soon as possible after the observations have been performed. They are made available at the INTEGRAL Science Data Center in Switzerland: go to http://isdc.unige.ch/Science/BULGE/. The findings of the first 1.5 years have been published in Kuulkers et al. 2007, A&A 466, 595-618. We saw the Galactic Center region playing hide and seek.
My list of publications can be found through the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System.
I am also leading the (X-ray) binary group at ESAC. We meet roughly every few weeks, and discuss anything we like regarding binaries, from our own research to interesting papers, as well as host visitors.
Thermo-nuclear X-ray bursts; (observational) equation of state constraints of neutron stars; physics of accretion in compact star binaries; binary parameters determinations of compact star systems; high-energy Galactic bulge activity.
INTEGRAL. As an Operations Scientist I take part in the science operations team of INTEGRAL, in the definition and execution of the INTEGRAL observing programme. My main tasks are to take care of the long-term planning of INTEGRAL observations, as well as to be the interface of the JEM-X instrument between the instrument PIs and the scientific community.
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