Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

BurstCube: Mission Concept and Status

Alyson Joens
(J.S. Perkins, J. Racusin, M.S. Briggs, G. de Nolfo, J.R. Smith, J.F. Krizmanic, R. Caputo, J. E. McEnery, P. Shawhan, S. Griffin, D. Morris, D. Kocevski, C. Wilson-Hodge, M. Hui, L. Mitchell, D.H. Hartmann, S. McBreen)


The first simultaneous detection of a short gamma-ray burst (sGRB) with a gravitational-wave (GW) signal propelled astronomy into the multi-messenger era. In order to increase the number of sGRB-GW simultaneous detections, we need full sky coverage in the gamma-ray regime. BurstCube: a CubeSat for Gravitational Wave Counterparts, aims to expand sky coverage in order to detect and localize gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). BurstCube will be comprised of 4 Cesium Iodide scintillators coupled to arrays of Silicon photo-multipliers on a 6U bus and will will be sensitive to gamma-rays between 50 keV and 1MeV, the ideal energy range for GRB prompt emission. BurstCube will assist current observatories, such as Swift and Fermi, in the detection of GRBs as well as provide astronomical context to gravitational wave events detected by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. BurstCube is currently in its development phase with an expected launch date in the early 2020s.