In addition to providing the initial gamma-ray burst trigger and location, the Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) will also perform an all-sky hard x-ray survey based on serendipitous pointings resulting from the study of gamma-ray bursts. BAT was designed with a very wide field-of-view (FOV) so that it can observe roughly 1/7 of the sky at any time. Since gamma-ray bursts are uniformly distributed over the sky, the final BAT survey coverage is expected to be nearly uniform. BAT's large effective area and long sky exposures will produce a 15 - 150 keV survey with up to 30 times better sensitivity than any previous hard x-ray survey (e.g. HEAO A4). Since the sensitivity of deep exposures in this energy range is systematics limited, the ultimate survey sensitivity depends on the relative sizes of the statistical and systematic errors in the data. Many careful calibration experiments were performed at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center to better understand the BAT instrument's response to 15-150 keV gamma-rays incident from any direction within the FOV. Using radioactive sources of gamma-rays with known locations and energies, the Swift team can identify potential systematic errors in the telescope's performance and estimate the actual Swift hard x-ray survey sensitivity in flight. These calibration results will be discussed and a preliminary parameterization of the BAT instrument response will be presented. While the details of the individual BAT CZT detector response will be presented elsewhere in these proceedings, this talk will focus on the translation of the calibration experimental data into overall hard x-ray survey sensitivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics