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17 September 2012 Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory for observation of early photons from gamma ray bursts
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Abstract
We describe the space project of Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) which will observe early optical photons from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with a sub-second optical response, for the first time. The UFFO will probe the early optical rise of GRBs, opening a completely new frontier in GRB and transient studies, using a fast response Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) that redirects optical path to telescope instead of slewing of telescopes or spacecraft. In our small UFFO-Pathfinder experiment, scheduled to launch aboard the Lomonosov satellite in 2012, we use a motorized mirror in our Slewing Mirror Telescope instrument to achieve less than one second optical response after X-ray trigger. We describe the science and the mission of the UFFO project, including a next version called UFFO-100. With our program of ultra-fast optical response GRB observatories, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of GRB mechanisms, and potentially open up the z<10 universe to study via GRB as point source emission probes.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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