1 National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark2 Astrophysics, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark3 Sungkyunkwan University4 University of Paris-Sud - University of Paris XI5 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía6 National Taiwan University7 Yonsei University8 Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology9 Universidad de Valencia10 University of California at Berkeley11 National United University12 Ewha Womans University13 Moscow Lomonosov State University14 Sungkyunkwan University15 National Taiwan University16 Ewha Womans University
One of the unexplored domains in the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) is the early time phase of the optical light curve. We have proposed Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) to address this question through extraordinary opportunities presented by a series of small space missions. The UFFO is equipped with a fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope that uses a rapidly moving mirror or mirror array to redirect the optical beam rather than slewing the entire spacecraft or telescope to aim the optical instrument at the GRB position. The UFFO will probe the early optical rise of GRBs with sub-second response, for the first time, opening a completely new frontier in GRB and transient studies. Its fast response measurements of the optical emission of dozens of GRB each year will provide unique probes of the burst mechanism and test the prospect of GRB as a new standard candle, potentially opening up the z > 10 universe. We describe the current limit in early photon measurements, the aspects of early photon physics, our soon-to-be-launched UFFO-pathfinder mission, and our next planned mission, the UFFO-100.
E a S Publications Series, 2013, Vol 61, p. 501-515