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Proceedings Paper

X-RED: a satellite mission concept to detect early universe gamma ray bursts
Author(s): Mirko Krumpe; Deirdre Coffey; Georg Egger; Francesc Vilardell; Karolien Lefever; Adriane Liermann; Agnes I.D. Hoffmann; Joerg Steiper; Marc Cherix; Simon Albrecht; Pedro Russo; Thomas Strodl; Rurik Wahlin; Pieter Deroo; Arvind Parmar; Niels Lund; Gunther Hasinger
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Paper Abstract

Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) are the most energetic eruptions known in the Universe. Instruments such as Compton-GRO/BATSE and the GRB monitor on BeppoSAX have detected more than 2700 GRBs and, although observational confirmation is still required, it is now generally accepted that many of these bursts are associated with the collapse of rapidly spinning massive stars to form black holes. Consequently, since first generation stars are expected to be very massive, GRBs are likely to have occurred in significant numbers at early epochs. X-red is a space mission concept designed to detect these extremely high redshifted GRBs, in order to probe the nature of the first generation of stars and hence the time of reionisation of the early Universe. We demonstrate that the gamma and x-ray luminosities of typical GRBs render them detectable up to extremely high redshifts (z ~ 10to30), but that current missions such as HETES and SWIFT operate outside the observational range for detection of high redshift GRB afterglows. Therefore, to redress this, we present a complete mission design from teh science case to the mission architecture and payload, the latter comprising three instruments, namely wide field x-ray cameras to detect high redshift gamma-rays, an x-ray focussing telescope to determine accurate coordinates and extract spectra, and an infrared spectrograph to observe the high redshift optical afterglow. The mission is expected to detect and identify for the first time GRBs with z > 10, thereby providing constraints on properties of the first generation of stars and the history of the early Universe.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 August 2005
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 5898, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIV, 58981J (18 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.616601
Show Author Affiliations
Mirko Krumpe, Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam (Germany)
Deirdre Coffey, The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (Ireland)
Georg Egger, Graz Univ. of Technology (Austria)
Francesc Vilardell, Univ. de Barcelona (Spain)
Karolien Lefever, Institut voor Sterrenkunde (Belgium)
Adriane Liermann, Univ. Potsdam (Germany)
Agnes I.D. Hoffmann, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Joerg Steiper, Univ. Göttingen (Germany)
Marc Cherix, Observatoire de Genève (Switzerland)
Simon Albrecht, Leiden Observatory (Netherlands)
Pedro Russo, Univ. of Porto (Portugal)
Thomas Strodl, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Rurik Wahlin, Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)
Pieter Deroo, Institut voor Sterrenkunde (Belgium)
Arvind Parmar, European Space Agency, ESTEC (Netherlands)
Niels Lund, Danish National Space Ctr. (Denmark)
Gunther Hasinger, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5898:
UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIV
Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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