Presentation #103.13 in the session Missions and Instruments.
BlackCAT is a 6U CubeSat mission designed to monitor the soft X-ray sky, searching for high-redshift gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), counterparts to gravitational-wave events, and other high-energy transient phenomena. The instrument uses an array of four event-driven X-ray hybrid CMOS detectors and a coded-aperture mask. This design provides a large field of view (∼0.9 sr) while enabling sub-arcminute localization of sources, making BlackCAT an effective tool for identifying bursts and flare events. The sensitivity of BlackCAT in the 0.5–20 keV band will make it a particularly valuable detector of high-redshift GRBs, which can serve as powerful probes of star formation and reionization in the early universe. Ground- and space-based follow-up observations of GRB afterglows, enabled by rapid alerts from BlackCAT, will allow measurements of GRB redshifts and characterization of the environments in which these bursts occurred. Here, we discuss the science capabilities of this mission. We present simulations of BlackCAT GRB observations based on observed distributions, spectra, and light curves from the Swift Burst Alert Telescope. From these simulations, we estimate the rate and redshift distribution of GRBs observed by BlackCAT. These results will be used to inform the operations, analysis, and follow-up techniques of this mission. We also discuss prospects for observations of other transient events, including possible X-ray counterparts to gravitational-wave events, X-ray blazar monitoring, and potential X-ray counterparts to neutrino events.