The Advanced Compton Telescope (ACT), the next major step in gamma-ray astronomy, will probe the fires where chemical elements are formed by enabling high-resolution spectroscopy of nuclear emission from supernova explosions. During the past two years, our collaboration has been undertaking a NASA mission concept study for ACT. This study was designed to (1) transform the key scientific objectives into specific instrument requirements, (2) to identify the most promising technologies to meet those requirements, and (3) to design a viable mission concept for this instrument. We present the results of this study, including scientific goals and expected performance, mission design, and technology recommendations.
NASA Vision Mission Concept Study Report, final version. (A condensed version of this report has been submitted to AIAA.)