WELCOME to a meeting of the Swift community
We will bring together scientists who have been working with Swift over the last 7 years, especially those who have had active Swift GI programs and/or made use of Swift's ToO capacity. The goal of the meeting is to discuss key science topics from Swift's successful past seven years, and to focus attention on opportunities for further improvements in its observing program and ToO strategies for the coming years. A comprehensive analysis of the road ahead is extremely important considering that Swift is now in its extended life operating phase and that stiff competition in the upcoming 2012 Senior Review will include missions such as HST and Fermi.
Swift science crucially depends on the active role our community plays in the design of a vital scientific program. When Swift was launched in 2004, its prime objective was to chase Gamma-Ray Bursts. However, it was quickly realized that its multi-wavelength and fast scheduling capacity make it the most versatile mission ever flown. It is used for an impressive variety of targets, including AGNs, supernovae, novae, variable stars, etc. Swift has observed nearby solar system objects (comets), and reached out to GRB 090423, one of the most distant objects in the Universe. The detection of J1644+5734/GRB 110328A has shown that Swift continues to discover new object classes.
In this 2011 meeting, sessions are dedicated to each class, and accompanied with overarching discussions of future direction and emphasis for Swift science. The meeting will be held in Clemson, South Carolina, October 24-26. The general meeting will be 2.5 days (Monday to Wednesday noon), followed by a half day of planning for NASA's Senior Review (SR) by a limited group of people by invitation only. The general meeting will be essential for the task of incorporating the community's interests into a proposal for a maximally funded mission. Everyone who has worked with Swift (or is planning to do so) should consider this meeting as a forum for promoting frontier issues in their area of research, and is invited to contribute to the design of the SR proposal.
We look forward to seeing many of you in the college town of Clemson, SC, for a lively scientific program and an upbeat discussion of the future with Swift as a discovery and ToO engine.