Optical Counterparts of Gamma Ray Bursts


Bruce Grossan and I designed a space station module for detecting optical counterparts of gamma ray bursts (GRBs). Below is a partially see-through video of the optical and mechanical design. The pyramid-shaped box with the random mask is an x-ray camera that narrows down the location of the GRB to a small area of the sky. Then the gimbal slews a telescope to catch the optical counterpart within a second of the burst detection. This design is an improvement over SWIFT, which slews the entire satellite in 60 seconds. By that time, all the local structure near the burst source has been destroyed.

More information on this project can be found here. The paper can be found on ArXiv.

The overall shape and the feet at the bottom are to accommodate being sent up in a Dragon capsule. The part at the top is for the robot arm to take the module out of the capsule and place it on JEM, the Japanese science module. The hexagon on the back mounts to the JEM and carries power and cooling. After mounting, the door opens and the x-ray module slides out.

Categories Optics

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