Author: Lorenzo Amati
Abstract: LOFT is a satellite mission currently in Assessment Phase for the ESA M3 selection. The payload is composed of the Large Area Detector (LAD), with 2-50 keV energy band, a peak effective area of about 10 m2 and an energy resolution better than 260 eV, and the Wide Field Monitor (WFM), a coded mask imager with a FOV of several steradians, an energy resolution of about 300 eV and a point source location accuracy of 1 arcmin in the 2-30 keV energy range. Based on preliminary considerations and estimates, we show how the scientific performances of the WFM are particularly suited to investigate some of the most relevant open issues in the study of GRBs: the physics of the prompt emission, the spectral absorption features by circum-burst material (and hence the nature of the progenitors), the population and properties of XRFs, and the detection and rate of high.z GRBs. Measurements of the early afterglow emission with the Large Area Detector (LAD) may also be possible depending on the mission slewing capabilities and TOO observations policy.