Basis: A new GRB mission concept

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BASIS (Burst ArcSecond Imaging and Spectroscopy) is a mission concept currently being studied as part of NASA's New Mission Concepts for Astrophysics program. The scientific objectives are to accurately locate bursts, determine their distance scale, and measure the physical characteristics of the emission region. Arcsecond burst positions (angular resolution ∼ 30 arcsec, source positions ∼ 3 arcsec for > 10 -6 erg/cm 2 bursts) would be obtained for ∼100 bursts per year using the 10-200 keV emission. This would allow the first deep, unconfused counterpart searches at other wavelengths. The key technological breakthrough that makes such measurements possible is the development of CdZnTe room-temperature semiconductor detectors with fine (∼ 100 micron) spatial resolution. Fine spectroscopy would be obtained between 0.2 and 200 keV. The 0.2 keV threshold would allow the first measurements of absorption in our Galaxy and possible host galaxies, constraining the distance scale and host environment. A description of the mission concept and its scientific objectives will be presented.

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European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP

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