GrailQuest and HERMES: hunting for gravitational wave electromagnetic counterparts and probing space-time quantum foam
Within Quantum Gravity theories, different models for space-time quantisation predict an energy dependent speed for photons. Although the predicted discrepancies are minuscule, GRB, occurring at cosmological distances, could be used to detect this signature of space-time granularity with a new concept of modular observatory of huge overall collecting area consisting in a fleet of small satellites in low orbits, with sub-microsecond time resolution and wide energy band (keV-MeV). The enormous number of collected photons will allow to effectively search these energy dependent delays. Moreover, GrailQuest will allow to perform temporal triangulation of high signal-to-noise impulsive events with arc-second positional accuracies: an extraordinary sensitive X-ray/Gamma all-sky monitor crucial for hunting the elusive electromagnetic counterparts of GW. A pathfinder of GrailQuest is already under development through the HERMES project: a fleet of six 3U cube-sats to be launched by 2021/22.
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
- Pub Date:
- December 2020
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- High Energy Physics - Experiment
- 19 pages, 12 figures, Proceedings of SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020