Search for very-high-energy emission from Gamma-ray Bursts using the first 18 months of data from the HAWC Gamma-ray Observatory

Article, Preprint OPEN
The HAWC Collaboration ; Alfaro, R. ; Alvarez, C. ; Álvarez, J. ; Arceo, R. ; Arteaga-Velázquez, J. ; Rojas, D. ; Solares, H. ; Barber, A. ; Bautista-Elivar, N. ; Becerril, A. ; Belmont-Moreno, E. ; BenZvi, S. ; Bernal, A. ; Braun, J. ; Brisbois, C. ; Caballero-Mora, K. ; Capistrán, T. ; Carramiñana, A. ; Casanova, S. ; Castillo, M. ; Cotti, U. ; Cotzomi, J. ; de León, S. ; de la Fuente, E. ; De León, C. ; DeYoung, T. ; Hernandez, R. ; Dingus, B. ; DuVernois, M. ... view all 105 authors (2017)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa756f
  • Subject: Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena | HAWC - Abteilung Hinton
    arxiv: Astrophysics::High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena

The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-ray Observatory is an extensive air shower detector operating in central Mexico, which has recently completed its first two years of full operations. If for a burst like GRB 130427A at a redshift of 0.34 and a high-energy component following a power law with index -1.66, the high-energy component is extended to higher energies with no cut-off other than from extragalactic background light attenuation, HAWC would observe gamma rays with a peak energy of $\sim$300 GeV. This paper reports the results of HAWC observations of 64 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by $\mathit{Swift}$ and $\mathit{Fermi}$, including three GRBs that were also detected by the Large Area Telescope ($\mathit{Fermi}$-LAT). An ON/OFF analysis method is employed, searching on the time scale given by the observed light curve at keV-MeV energies and also on extended time scales. For all GRBs and time scales, no statistically significant excess of counts is found and upper limits on the number of gamma rays and the gamma-ray flux are calculated. GRB 170206A, the third brightest short GRB detected by the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor on board the $\mathit{Fermi}$ satellite ($\mathit{Fermi}$-GBM) and also detected by the LAT, occurred very close to zenith. The LAT measurements can neither exclude the presence of a synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) component nor constrain its spectrum. Instead, the HAWC upper limits constrain the expected cut-off in an additional high-energy component to be less than $100~\rm{GeV}$ for reasonable assumptions about the energetics and redshift of the burst.
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