AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 69. Gamma Ray Observations
Oral, Tuesday, January 7, 2003, 2:00-3:30pm, 616-617

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[69.06] GRBs from the HETE Mission: Recent Results and Future Prospects

G. R. Ricker, R. K. Vanderspek (MIT Center for Space Research), HETE Science Team

The HETE mission, successfully launched in October 2000, is the first satellite mission devoted to the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Operations commenced in February 2001. HETE utilizes a matched suite of wide-field gamma-ray and X-ray detectors mounted on a small spacecraft in an equatorial orbit. Mission operations, for both the spacecraft and science instruments, are carried out exclusively by the Science Team. A unique feature of HETE is its potential for localizing GRBs with ~10 arcmin accuracy (medium energy X-rays) to ~30 arcsec accuracy (low energy X-rays). These GRB locations are transmitted, within ~ seconds to ~ minutes, directly to a dedicated network of telemetry receivers at 14 automated "Burst Alert Stations" (BAS) sited along the satellite ground track. The BAS network then re-distributes the GRB locations worldwide via the Internet in ~1 second. Thus, prompt optical, IR, and radio follow-up identifications are possible for a large fraction of HETE GRBs.

HETE detects ~90 GRBs per year, of which it localizes ~15-20 per year. As of mid-October 2002, HETE has localized 26 GRBs; seven localizations have led to the detection of an X-ray, optical, or radioafterglows; four GRBs have established redshifts. Of the GRBs localized thus far by HETE, 10 have been "X-ray rich" events. In addition, HETE has detected ~25 bursts from SGRs, and >650 X-ray bursts. Highlights from the first 2 years of HETE operations will be presented, as will be the results anticipated from the extended mission.

The HETE scientific team includes participants from France, Japan, Brazil, India, Italy, and the USA. This research was supported in the USA by NASA contract NASW-4690.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://space.mit.edu/HETE. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: grr@space.mit.edu

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