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The Best Case Scenario: Towards prompt arcminute localization of a GW source with GRBs

Presentation #411.02 in the session Multi-messenger View of Supernovae, Gamma Ray Bursts, and Other Transients.

Published onJun 29, 2022
The Best Case Scenario: Towards prompt arcminute localization of a GW source with GRBs

The rich EM phenomenology in the first few hours after a compact object merger encodes the nature of the post-merger remnant, and a wide array of other compelling physics. Unfortunately, the requirement to search, find, and classify a counterpart within the large GW localization regions before targeted followup with sensitive instruments can begin, excludes access to these first few hours, even for the most well localized GW sources. The ability to promptly localize a GW source to within the field-of-view of a narrow field sensitive facility, without wide-field tiling searches, would enable extraordinary science, and is uniquely enabled by GRB imagers with arcminute localization like Swift/BAT. Such a prompt localization is the best case scenario. I will present the Swift/BAT-GUANO rapid spacecraft commanding pipeline and the NITRATES targeted sub-threshold GRB search pipeline, which together allow the most sensitive GRB searches currently possible. I will also discuss methods to increase the joint GRB/GW yield with intelligent scheduling, and strategies for ultra-rapid slews to followup “early warning” GW detections within seconds. The combination of all of these will increase the chance of a best case scenario, and set the stage for next generation space telescope response.

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