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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.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Stéphane Schanne, Diego Götz, Hervé Le Provost, Frédéric Château, Enrico Bozzo, and 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); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055078
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