We describe the MERger-event Gamma-Ray (MERGR) Telescope intended for deployment by ~2021. MERGR will cover from 20 keV to 2 MeV with a wide field of view (6 sr) using nineteen gamma-ray detectors arranged on a section of a sphere. The telescope will work as a standalone system or as part of a network of sensors, to increase by ~50% the current sky coverage to detect short Gamma-Ray Burst (SGRB) counterparts to neutron-star binary mergers within the ~200 Mpc range of gravitational wave detectors in the early 2020’s. Inflight software will provide realtime burst detections with mean localization uncertainties of 6 deg for a photon fluence of 5 ph cm^-2 (the mean fluence of Fermi-GBM SGRBs) and <3 deg for the brightest ~5% of SGRBs to enable rapid multi-wavelength follow-up to identify a host galaxy and its redshift. To minimize cost and time to first light, MERGR is directly derived from demonstrators designed and built at NRL for the DoD Space Test Program (STP). We argue that the deployment of a network that provides all-sky coverage for SGRB detection is of immediate urgency to the multi-messenger astrophysics community.
L. Mitchell, J. Grove, B. Phlips, et. al.
Mon, 13 Nov 17
Comments: 5 pages, 5 figures, Presented at the 7th Fermi Symposium 2017 October 15-20, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Submitted to Proceedings of Science, Eds. J. Greiner & O. Reimer