The Gamma RAy Polarimeter Experiment (GRAPE) was first flown on a 26-hour balloon flight in the fall of 2011. GRAPE consists of an array of Compton polarimeter modules (based on traditional scintillation technologies) designed to operate in the energy range from 50 keV up to 500 keV. The ultimate goal is to operate GRAPE in a wide FoV configuration for the study of gamma-ray bursts. For the first (demonstration) balloon flight, GRAPE was configured in a collimated mode to facilitate observations of known point sources. The Crab nebula/pulsar, the active Sun, and Cygnus X-1 were the primary targets for the first flight. Although the Crab was detected, the polarization sensitivity was worse than expected. This paper will review the plans for the next GRAPE balloon flight, which is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2014 from Ft. Sumner, NM. These plans involve several modifications designed to improve the polarization sensitivity, including an expansion of the array of polarimeter modules from 16 to 24 and improvements to the instrument shielding. Sensitivity estimates of the resulting instrument, based on GEANT4 simulations, will be presented.


Space Science Center, Physics

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SPIE Proceedings



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Conference Proceeding


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