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Title: Probing the cosmic gamma-ray burst rate with trigger simulations of the swift burst alert telescope

The gamma-ray burst (GRB) rate is essential for revealing the connection between GRBs, supernovae, and stellar evolution. Additionally, the GRB rate at high redshift provides a strong probe of star formation history in the early universe. While hundreds of GRBs are observed by Swift, it remains difficult to determine the intrinsic GRB rate due to the complex trigger algorithm of Swift. Current studies of the GRB rate usually approximate the Swift trigger algorithm by a single detection threshold. However, unlike the previously flown GRB instruments, Swift has over 500 trigger criteria based on photon count rate and an additional image threshold for localization. To investigate possible systematic biases and explore the intrinsic GRB properties, we develop a program that is capable of simulating all the rate trigger criteria and mimicking the image threshold. Our simulations show that adopting the complex trigger algorithm of Swift increases the detection rate of dim bursts. As a result, our simulations suggest that bursts need to be dimmer than previously expected to avoid overproducing the number of detections and to match with Swift observations. Moreover, our results indicate that these dim bursts are more likely to be high redshift events than low-luminosity GRBs. This wouldmore » imply an even higher cosmic GRB rate at large redshifts than previous expectations based on star formation rate measurements, unless other factors, such as the luminosity evolution, are taken into account. The GRB rate from our best result gives a total number of 4568{sub −1429}{sup +825} GRBs per year that are beamed toward us in the whole universe.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST) and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Mathematics, College of Science and Engineering, Aoyama Gakuin University, 5-10-1 Fuchinobe, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa 252-5258 (Japan)
  3. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  4. Los Alamos National Laboratory, B244, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States)
  5. Astronomy Department, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22351365
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 783; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALGORITHMS; APPROXIMATIONS; COSMIC GAMMA BURSTS; COSMIC PHOTONS; DETECTION; GALAXIES; LUMINOSITY; RED SHIFT; SIMULATION; STAR EVOLUTION; SUPERNOVAE; TELESCOPES; UNIVERSE