Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Glowbug, a Gamma-Ray Telescope for Bursts and Other Transients

J Eric Grove
(C.C. Cheung, M. Kerr, L.J. Mitchell, B.F. Phlips, R.S. Woolf, E.A Wulf (NRL); C.A. Wilson-Hodge, D. Kocevski (MSFC); M.S. Briggs (UAH); and J. Perkins (GSFC))


We describe Glowbug, a gamma-ray telescope for bursts and other transients in the 30 keV to 2 MeV band. It was recently selected for funding by the NASA Astrophysics Research and Analysis program, with an expected launch in the early 2020s. Similar in concept to the Fermi Gamma Burst Monitor (GBM) and with similar sensitivity, Glowbug will join and enhance future networks of burst telescopes to increase sky coverage to short Gamma-Ray Bursts (SGRBs) from neutron star (NS) binary mergers, including possible SGRBs from NS-black hole mergers. With the recent discovery of the SGRB coincident with the gravitational wave transient GW170817, we know such events occur with reasonable frequency. Expanded sky coverage in gamma rays is essential, as more detections of gravitational waves from such mergers by ground-based interferometers will come in the next few years, and detecting an electromagnetic counterpart is a powerful probe of merger dynamics. Work on Glowbug at NRL is supported by NASA and the Chief of Naval Research.