Title

On the sensitivity of the HAWC observatory to gamma-ray bursts

Authors

A. U. Abeysekara, Michigan State University
J. A. Aguilar, University of Wisconsin-Madison
S. Aguilar, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
R. Alfaro, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
E. Almaraz, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
C. Álvarez, Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas
J. De D. Álvarez-Romero, Universidad Michocana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
M. Álvarez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
R. Arceo, Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas
J. C. Arteaga-Velázquez, Universidad Michocana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
C. Badillo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
A. Barber, The University of Utah
B. M. Baughman, University of Maryland
N. Bautista-Elivar, Universidad Politécnica de Pachuca
E. Belmont, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
E. Benítez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
S. Y. Benzvi, University of Wisconsin-Madison
D. Berley, University of Maryland
A. Bernal, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
E. Bonamente, Michigan Technological University
J. Braun, University of Maryland
R. Caballero-Lopez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
I. Cabrera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
A. Carramiñana, Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica Optica y Electronica
L. Carrasco, Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica Optica y Electronica
M. Castillo, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla
L. Chambers, Pennsylvania State University
R. Conde, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla
P. Condreay, Pennsylvania State University
U. Cotti, Universidad Michocana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
J. Cotzomi, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla
J. C. D'Olivo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2012

Abstract

We present the sensitivity of HAWC to gamma ray bursts (GRBs). HAWC is a very high-energy gamma-ray observatory currently under construction in Mexico at an altitude of 4100 m. It will observe atmospheric air showers via the water Cherenkov method. HAWC will consist of 300 large water tanks instrumented with 4 photomultipliers each. HAWC has two data acquisition (DAQ) systems. The main DAQ system reads out coincident signals in the tanks and reconstructs the direction and energy of individual atmospheric showers. The scaler DAQ counts the hits in each photomultiplier tube (PMT) in the detector and searches for a statistical excess over the noise of all PMTs. We show that HAWC has a realistic opportunity to observe the high-energy power law components of GRBs that extend at least up to 30 GeV, as it has been observed by Fermi LAT. The two DAQ systems have an energy threshold that is low enough to observe events similar to GRB 090510 and GRB 090902b with the characteristics observed by Fermi LAT. HAWC will provide information about the high-energy spectra of GRBs which in turn could help to understanding about e-pair attenuation in GRB jets, extragalactic background light absorption, as well as establishing the highest energy to which GRBs accelerate particles. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Astroparticle Physics

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