Title

GRID: A Student Project to Monitor the Transient Gamma-Ray Sky in the Multi-Messenger Astronomy Era

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-8-2019

Publication Title

Experimental Astronomy

Volume

48

Issue

1

First page number:

77

Last page number:

95

Abstract

The Gamma-Ray Integrated Detectors (GRID) is a space mission concept dedicated to monitoring the transient gamma-ray sky in the energy range from 10 keV to 2 MeV using scintillation detectors onboard CubeSats in low Earth orbits. The primary targets of GRID are the gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) in the local universe. The scientific goal of GRID is, in synergy with ground-based gravitational wave (GW) detectors such as LIGO and VIRGO, to accumulate a sample of GRBs associated with the merger of two compact stars and study jets and related physics of those objects. It also involves observing and studying other gamma-ray transients such as long GRBs, soft gamma-ray repeaters, terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, and solar flares. With multiple CubeSats in various orbits, GRID is unaffected by the Earth occultation and serves as a full-time and all-sky monitor. Assuming a horizon of 200 Mpc for ground-based GW detectors, we expect to see a few associated GW-GRB events per year. With about 10 CubeSats in operation, GRID is capable of localizing a faint GRB like 170817A with a 90% error radius of about 10 degrees, through triangulation and flux modulation. GRID is proposed and developed by students, with considerable contribution from undergraduate students, and will remain operated as a student project in the future. The current GRID collaboration involves more than 20 institutes and keeps growing. On August 29th, the first GRID detector onboard a CubeSat was launched into a Sun-synchronous orbit and is currently under test.

Keywords

Gamma-ray bursts; Gravitational waves; Scintillation detector; SiPM CubeSat

Disciplines

Astrophysics and Astronomy | Cosmology, Relativity, and Gravity | Instrumentation

Language

English

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