K. Hurley on behalf of the IPN team,
A.S.��Kozyrev, D.V.��Golovin, M.L.��Litvak, I.G.��Mitrofanov, and A.B.��Sanin
on behalf of the MGNS/BepiColombo team, and
J.��Benkhoff on behalf of the BepiColombo team, report:
The ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission was launched on October 20, 2018 on a
7.2-year journey to Mercury. After arrival in late 2025, the mission
will spend a nominal one year in Mercury orbit. The mission consists of
two spacecraft: the JAXA-provided Mio spacecraft for the thorough
exploration of the environment, and the ESA-led Mercury Planetary
Orbiter, MPO, for a comprehensive exploration of the planet itself, the
interior, and its magnetic field. The MPO contains the Mercury Gamma-Ray
and Neutron Spectrometer (MGNS) experiment [1, 2] consisting of a 3���
diameter x 3��� long CeBr3 scintillator, which also has a gamma-ray burst
detection capability. During the cruise phase so far, MGNS operated for
about 23 months, and has detected 38 confirmed gamma-ray bursts, 21 of
which have been localized to annuli using data from HEND/Mars Odyssey,
which is also part of the IPN since 2002. The verification of the
localization accuracy of this method was based on gamma-ray bursts for
which optical afterglows were detected. Reference  presents 5
gamma-ray bursts as examples of these localizations.
MGNS is now the 34th experiment to be integrated into the interplanetary
network (IPN) since 1977, which currently consists of Konus-Wind, Mars
Odyssey, BepiColombo, Swift, INTEGRAL and AGILE. In this configuration,
the IPN now has two interplanetary spacecraft, which will lead to more
precise GRB localizations.
1. Mitrofanov, I.G., Kozyrev, A.S., Lisov, D.I., Litvak, M. L., et al.
(2021). Space Science Reviews. Volume 217, Issue 5, article id.67A.
3. The links below show maps with localization annuli from MGNS-HEND
data for 5 gamma-ray bursts: GRB 190530A, GRB 200219C, GRB 200415A, GRB
200716C and GRB 210112A.