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The science of HERMES: a constellation of nano-satellites for high energy astrophysics and fundamental physics
aprile 10 @ 11:45 - 12:45
A distributed instrument, such that consisting of nano-satellites carrying simple X-ray detectors, can provide accurate (arcmin to arcsec) and prompt (within minutes) localisation of high energy transients, such as gamma ray bursts and the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave events. In addition, once the position of the transient is computed, the signals registered by the different detectors can be realigned in time and added together to improve the statistics. This can allow the investigation of the temporal structure of transients down to a fraction of microsecond, providing crucial information on one hand on the physics of the transient inner engine, and, on the other hand, on the granular structure of space-time, through the study of light-travel effects.
The advantages of a distributed instrument based on nano-satellites are: a) modularity, which allows redundancies with the associated lower risks; b) the possibility to expand (and/or improve) the experiment with the time; c) low cost and quick development.