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Gamma Ray Polarimeter Experiment
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Balloon-based Experiment To Measure Gamma Rays 6,500 Light Years Distant
 
Beginning Sunday, September 18, 2011 at NASAs launch facility in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, space scientists from the University of New Hampshire will attempt to send a balloon up to 130,000 feet with a one-ton instrument payload to measure gamma rays from the Crab Pulsar, the remains of a supernova explosion that lies 6,500 light years from Earth. The launch is highly dependent on weather and wind conditions, and the launch window closes at the end of next week.
The Gamma Ray Polarimeter Experiment (GRAPE), which was designed and built at the Space Science Centre within the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS), is an effort to apply a new type of detector technology to the study of celestial gamma rays.

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POET
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Title: POET: POlarimeters for Energetic Transients
Authors: J.E. Hill, M.L. McConnell, P. Bloser, J. Legere, J. Macri, J. Ryan, S. Barthelmy, L. Angelini, T. Sakamoto, J.K. Black, D.H. Hartmann, P. Kaaret, B. Zhang, K. Ioka, T. Nakamura, K. Toma, R. Yamazaki, X. Wu

POET (Polarimeters for Energetic Transients) is a Small Explorer mission concept proposed to NASA in January 2008. The principal scientific goal of POET is to measure GRB polarisation between 2 and 500 keV. The payload consists of two wide FoV instruments: a Low Energy Polarimeter (LEP) capable of polarisation measurements in the energy range from 2-15 keV and a high energy polarimeter (Gamma-Ray Polarimeter Experiment -- GRAPE) that will measure polarisation in the 60-500 keV energy range. Spectra will be measured from 2 keV up to 1 MeV. The POET spacecraft provides a zenith-pointed platform for maximising the exposure to deep space. Spacecraft rotation will provide a means of effectively dealing with systematics in the polarisation response. POET will provide sufficient sensitivity and sky coverage to measure statistically significant polarisation for up to 100 GRBs in a two-year mission. Polarisation data will also be obtained for solar flares, pulsars and other sources of astronomical interest.

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