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J.M. McEnery (University of Wisconsin, Milagro Collaboration)
The highest energy gamma rays detected from gamma-ray bursts (GRB) significantly constrain emission models. To date, only limited measurements have been made of the very high energy component of GRB spectra. The EGRET experiment detected several GRBs at energies greater than 1 GeV, but no high energy cutoff was observed.
The Milagro gamma-ray observatory employs a novel water Cherenkov detector to observe extended air showers produced by high energy particles impacting the earth's atmosphere. The detector consists of a large pond (~ 4000 square meters) instrumented with an array of 723 photomultiplier tubes. The instrument operates 24 hours a day and continuously observes the entire overhead sky (~ 2 sr). Because of its wide field of view and high duty cycle Milagro is uniquely capable of searching for gamma-ray bursts and other transient gamma-ray sources.
In this paper we will describe the techniques we have developed to search for transients including GRBs on a variety of timescales and we will present preliminary resuls.
This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation, the U. S. Department of Energy (Office of High Energy Physics and Office of Nuclear Physics), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of California, and the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.
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