24 July 2014 The LOFT burst alert system and its burst onboard trigger
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Abstract
The ESA M3 candidate mission LOFT (Large Observatory For x-ray Timing) has been designed to study strong gravitational fields by observing compact objects, such as black-hole binaries or neutron-star systems and supermassive black-holes, based on the temporal analysis of photons collected by the primary instrument LAD (Large Area Detector), sensitive to X-rays from 2 to 50 keV, offering a very large effective area (>10 m2), but a small field of view (ø<1°). Simultaneously the second instrument WFM (Wide Field Monitor), composed of 5 coded-mask camera pairs (2-50 keV), monitors a large part of the sky, in order to detect and localize eruptive sources, to be observed with the LAD after ground-commanded satellite repointing. With its large field of view (>π sr), the WFM actually detects all types of transient sources, including Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs), which are of primary interest for a world-wide observers community. However, observing the quickly decaying GRB afterglows with ground-based telescopes needs the rapid knowledge of their precise localization. The task of the Loft Burst Alert System (LBAS) is therefore to detect in near-real- time GRBs (about 120 detections expected per year) and other transient sources, and to deliver their localization in less than 30 seconds to the observers, via a VHF antenna network. Real-time full resolution data download to ground being impossible, the real-time data processing is performed onboard by the LBOT (LOFT Burst On-board Trigger system). In this article we present the LBAS and its components, the LBOT and the associated ground-segment.
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Stéphane Schanne, Stéphane Schanne, Diego Götz, Diego Götz, Hervé Le Provost, Hervé Le Provost, Frédéric Château, Frédéric Château, Enrico Bozzo, Enrico Bozzo, Søren Brandt, Søren Brandt, } "The LOFT burst alert system and its burst onboard trigger", Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 914469 (24 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055078; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055078
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