Using the active collimator and shield assembly of an EXIST-type mission as a gamma-ray burst spectrometer
Washington University in St. Louis, 1 Brookings Drive, CB 1105, St. Louis, Mo, 63130, USA
2 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3 National Space Science & Technology Center, 320 Sparkman Dr., Huntsville, AL 35805 USA
Accepted: 19 May 2006
The Energetic X-Ray Imaging Survey Telescope (EXIST) is a mission design concept that uses coded masks seen by Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) detectors to register hard X-rays in the energy region from 10 keV to 600 keV. A partially active or fully active anti-coincidence shield/collimator with a total area of between 15 m2 and 35 m2 will be used to define the field-of-view of the CZT detectors and to suppress the background of cosmic-ray-induced events. In this paper, we describe the use of a sodium activated cesium iodide shield/collimator to detect gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and to measure their energy spectra in the energy range from 100 keV up to 10 MeV. We use the code GEANT 4 to simulate the interactions of photons and cosmic rays with the spacecraft and the instrument and the code DETECT2000 to simulate the optical properties of the scintillation detectors. The shield/collimator achieves a -sensitivity of erg cm-2 s-1 and erg cm-2 s-1 at 100 keV and 600 keV, respectively. The sensitivity is well matched to that of the coded mask telescope.The broad energy coverage of an EXIST-type mission with active shields will constrain the peak of the spectral energy distribution (SED) for a large number of GRBs. The measurement of the SED peak may be key for determining photometric GRB redshifts and for using GRBs as cosmological probes.
Key words: gamma-rays: bursts / instrumentation: detectors / instrumentation: spectrographs
© ESO, 2006