Degree Name

BS in Physics


Physics Department


Jodi Christensen


Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) have not been detected at TeV energies. Detection with the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) would open a new window into GRB science. In this paper, we optimize an orbit mode tracking method to search for a GRB at a location provided by the FERMI Gamma-ray satellite. Using Matlab we modeled the orbit tracking pattern. Then we found the optimal offset radii and tracking speed for the telescope to form a uniform image exposure. To optimize the pattern, the model accounts for the maximum 1°/s speed of the telescope’s tracking motors and the camera’s ability to gather light. Using these constraints, we optimized a search pattern to cover varying error circles up to a maximum 3σ error circle ~45° in diameter. As a result of the optimization, VERITAS will have a better chance of observing TeV gamma-rays emitted by a GRB.