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Paper: The Earth Occultation Technique with the Burst and Transient Source Experiment
Volume: 216, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IX
Page: 587
Authors: Wilson, C. A.; Harmon, B. A.; McCollough, M. L.; Fishman, G. J.; Zhang, S. N.; Paciesas, W. S.
Abstract: The Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) is successfully being used as an all-sky hard X-ray monitor. The experiment consists of a set of eight uncollimated detectors sensitive to photons in the 20 keV to 2 MeV range. Since CGRO orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 450 km, about 33% of the sky, as viewed with BATSE, is covered by the Earth at any given time. The entire sky is subject to Earth occultation for some portion of CGRO's 52 day precession period. When a source sets below or rises above the Earth's limb, atmospheric attenuation produces step-like features in the BATSE data. The observed change in count rate in several energy bands provides a measurement of the source intensity and spectrum without sophisticated background models. These occultation features are used to locate and monitor astrophysical sources with BATSE when the source signal can be separated from the detector background. Examples of step searches, spectra, light curves, and transform imaging are presented.
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