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Session 43 - Gamma-ray Burst Counterparts and Afterglows.
Display session, Tuesday, June 09
LOTIS (Livermore Optical Transient Imaging System) is a gamma-ray burst (GRB) optical counterpart search experiment capable of imaging an initial GRB error box within 10 s of the start of a burst. This early response, often simultaneous with gamma-ray emission, is accomplished by utilizing a fully automated rapidly slewing telescope linked to the GRB Coordinates Network (GCN). The LOTIS telescope consists of four cameras configured in a 2 \times 2 array with a total field-of-view of 17.4^\circ \times 17.4^\circ. Since routine operations began in October 1996 LOTIS has responded to more than 40 GCN triggers. We will report on LOTIS observations which have placed upper limits on the ratio of simultaneous optical to gamma-ray flux. A recent upgrade to thermoelectric cooled CCDs increased the LOTIS sensitivity to V \sim 15 (10 s integration) extending the capability of detecting or further constraining simultaneous optical activity from GRBs. In addition to LOTIS, Super-LOTIS, a fully automated 60 cm reflector with a limiting magnitude of V \sim 19 will soon begin a dedicated search for optical counterparts of GRBs. Both the upgraded LOTIS system and Super-LOTIS will also search for very early time optical afterglow from GRBs.
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