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Artist concept of BurstCube in orbit

The BurstCube mission is a Cubesat mission to detect gamma-ray burst events to send rapid alerts and provide initial detection for events, with a special focus on short (<2 s) gamma-ray burst targets and coincident observations with gravitational wave sources. It is proposed to have a six month mission span, but with options to extend operations based on initial success. It is not, however, intended to be a long duration mission, but rather a pathfinder for rapid deployment of low-cost science results.

Mission Characteristics

* Lifetime : Late 2021–2022 (anticipated)
* Energy Range : 50 keV–1 MeV
* Special Features : rapid detection and source localization of gamma-ray burst sources.
* Payload :
  • a set of four Single Quarter Detectors (SQDs) which contain a cylindrical Thallium doped Cesium Iodide (CsI(Tl)) crystals, 6 cm in diameter and 1.9 cm thick, with readouts from an array of 116 low-power low-voltage Silicon photomultipliers. This provides coarse location ability: roughly 90% of short burst sources should be locatable to a 30° radius.

Supporting electronics and communications equipment would provide rapid alerts upon event detection.

* Science Goals:
  • rapid approximate location of gamma-ray burst sources
  • detection of binary neutron star mergers, characterized by short gamma-ray bursts and gravitational wave detection with instruments such as the existing LIGO and future LISA spacecraft programs
* Archive: The HEASARC will host BurstCube products and catalogs.

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Last modified: Thursday, 24-Sep-2020 17:21:49 EDT

The HEASARC is hiring! - Applications are now being accepted for a scientist with significant experience and interest in the technical aspects of astrophysics research, to work in the HEASARC at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. Refer to the AAS Job register for full details.