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Proceedings Paper

Background estimation in a wide-field background-limited instrument such as Fermi GBM
Author(s): Gerard Fitzpatrick; Sheila McBreen; Valerie Connaughton; Michael Briggs
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Paper Abstract

The supporting instrument on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) is a wide-field gamma-ray monitor composed of 14 individual scintillation detectors, with a field of view which encompasses the entire unocculted sky. Primarily designed as transient monitors, the conventional method for background determination with GBM-like instruments is to time interpolate intervals before and after the source as a polynomial. This is generally sufficient for sharp impulsive phenomena such as Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) which are characterised by impulsive peaks with sharp rises, often highly structured, and easily distinguishable against instrumental backgrounds. However, smoother long lived emission, such as observed in solar flares and some GRBs, would be difficult to detect in a background-limited instrument using this method. We present here a description of a technique which uses the rates from adjacent days when the satellite has approximately the same geographical footprint to distinguish low-level emission from the instrumental background. We present results from the application of this technique to GBM data and discuss the implementation of it in a generalised background limited detector in a non-equatorial orbit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 84433B (27 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.928036
Show Author Affiliations
Gerard Fitzpatrick, Univ. College Dublin (Ireland)
Sheila McBreen, Univ. College Dublin (Ireland)
Valerie Connaughton, The Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
Michael Briggs, The Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8443:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Tadayuki Takahashi; Stephen S. Murray; Jan-Willem A. den Herder, Editor(s)

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