Scientific article

A method to localize gamma-ray bursts using POLAR

Publication date2010

The hard X-ray polarimeter POLAR aims to measure the linear polarization of the 50–500 keV photons arriving from the prompt emission of γ-ray bursts (GRBs). The position in the sky of the detected GRBs is needed to determine their level of polarization. We present here a method by which, despite of the polarimeter incapability of taking images, GRBs can be roughly localized using POLAR alone. For this purpose scalers are attached to the output of the 25 multi-anode photomultipliers (MAPMs) that collect the light from the POLAR scintillator target. Each scaler measures how many GRB photons produce at least one energy deposition above 50 keV in the corresponding MAPM. Simulations show that the relative outputs of the 25 scalers depend on the GRB position. A database of very strong GRBs simulated at 10 201 positions has been produced. When a GRB is detected, its location is calculated searching the minimum of the χ2χ2 obtained in the comparison between the measured scaler pattern and the database. This GRB localization technique brings enough accuracy so that the error transmitted to the 100% modulation factor is kept below 10% for GRBs with fluence Ftot≥10−5ergcm−2. The POLAR localization capability will be useful for those cases where no other instruments are simultaneously observing the same field of view.

  • Gamma-ray burst
  • Source localization
  • Polarization
Citation (ISO format)
SUAREZ GARCIA, Estela et al. A method to localize gamma-ray bursts using POLAR. In: Nuclear instruments & methods in physics research. Section A, Accelerators, spectrometers, detectors and associated equipment, 2010, vol. 624, n° 3, p. 624–634. doi: 10.1016/j.nima.2010.10.006
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0168-9002

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