AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 150 Source Surveys, Catalogs, Databases and Swift Observations
Oral, Wednesday, 10:00-11:30am, January 11, 2006, Salon 3

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[150.06] Swift-BAT: The First Year of Gamma-Ray Burst Detections

H.A. Krimm (USRA/NASA GSFC), L.M. Barbier, S.D. Barthelmy (NASA GSFC), J.R. Cummings (NRC/NASA GSFC), E.E. Fenimore (LANL), N. Gehrels (NASA GSFC), D.D. Hullinger, C.B. Markwardt (U Maryland/NASA GSFC), D.M. Palmer (LANL), A.M. Parsons (NASA GSFC), T. Sakamoto (NRC/NASA GSFC), G. Sato (ISAS, Japan), J. Tueller (NASA GSFC), Swift-BAT Team

The Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) on the Swift has been detecting gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) since Dec. 17, 2004 and automated burst alerts have been distributed since Feb. 14, 2005. Since commissioning the BAT has triggered on more than 100 GRBs, nearly all of which have been followed up by the narrow-field instruments on Swift through automatic repointing, and by ground and other satellite telescopes after rapid notification. Within seconds of a trigger the BAT produces and relays to the ground a position good to three arc minutes and a four channel light curve. A full ten minutes of event data follows on subsequent ground station passes. The burst archive has allowed us to determine ensemble burst parameters such as fluence, peak flux and duration. An overview of the properties of BAT bursts and BAT's performance as a burst monitor will be presented in this talk.

BAT is a coded aperature imaging system with a wide (~2 sr) field of view consisting of a large coded mask located 1 m above a 5200 cm2 array of 32.768 CdZnTe detectors. All electronics and other hardware systems on the BAT have been operating well since commissioning and there is no sign of any degradation on orbit. The flight and ground software have proven similarly robust and allow the real time localization of all bursts and the rapid derivation of burst light curves, spectra and spectral fits on the ground.

This work is supported by NASA as part of the Swift MIDEX project.

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