The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-ray Observatory is an extensive air shower detector operating in central Mexico that 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 cutoff other than that from extragalactic background light attenuation, HAWC would observe gamma-rays with a peak energy of ∼300 GeV. This paper reports the results of HAWC observations of 64 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by Swift and Fermi, including 3 GRBs that were also detected by the Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT). An ON/OFF analysis method is employed, searching on the timescale given by the observed light curve at keV-MeV energies and also on extended timescales. For all GRBs and timescales, 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 Fermi satellite (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 component nor constrain its spectrum. Instead, the HAWC upper limits constrain the expected cutoff in an additional high-energy component to be less than for reasonable assumptions about the energetics and redshift of the burst.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science