Gamma Swarm - Compact Cubesat system for gravitational wave counterparts' detection

Georgii Gaikov, Anton Ivanov, Mikhail Panasyuk, Sergey Svertilov

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


    We present Gamma Swarm - a compact distributed 3U Cubesat system, aimed to detect and localize gamma ray transients in the low Earth (LEO) orbit and relying on real-time direct intersatellite communication. The Swarm will detect Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) from the Earth's atmosphere, which are generated during thunderstorms and are not fully studied yet, as well as Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), which come from the outer space. The novelty of our approach is that Swarm is a truly autonomous distributed system. Unlike others, we are not building a simple array of similar individual instruments. We make an emphasis on the system behaviour: overall swarm abilities are more than just a sum of individuals, and mission goals may be achieved only with continuous intersatellite communication - the key enabling technology in the swarm. By cooperation within the swarm, the satellites are able to efficiently extract signal from noise (single Cubesat faces EM shower events); calculate GRB/TGF origin coordinates by analysing overall intensities and signal delays analysis; relay scientific data to the ground. The swarm is capable of signal triangulation. Its satellites have identical hardware, utilizing 5 CsI scintillators combined with Silicon photomultiplier arrays (SiPMs) as main sensors and exploiting UHF intersatellite link for communication. Various components of the system are currently at TRLs ranging from 4 to 9. We expect the launch of first 4 satellites from the ISS to take place in 2021.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberIAC-19_B4_2_5_x53014
    JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    Event70th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2019 - Washington, United States
    Duration: 21 Oct 201925 Oct 2019


    • Cubesat
    • Gamma-rays
    • GRB
    • Swarm
    • TGF


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