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Proceedings Paper

Novel Cherenkov-fiber optic detector for the study of cosmic-ray nuclei including Zn to Zr
Author(s): James Joseph Connell
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Paper Abstract

The most important observational challenges remaining in cosmic ray composition will require much increased detector areas to collect rare events while maintaining or improving upon present detector resolution. These goals include extending isotopic abundance measurements to higher energies, measuring isotopes beyond the Fe peak, and making elemental studies with single charge unit resolution through the Pb peak and beyond. Unfortunately, solid state cosmic ray spectrometers have, for practical purposes, approached their limit in collecting area. the fiber optic Cherenkov integrating system (FOCIS) could answer this need. Historically, most cosmic-ray Cherenkov detectors have been of the light-integrating type. The University of Chicago RICH experiment and the CAPRICE experiment are notable exceptions. These instruments measure the Cherenkov light cone to determine the incident particle velocity, avoiding the areal non-uniformities and time-dependent gain variations inherent in light-integrating Cherenkov detectors. FOCIS would use an array of special optical fibers to measure the light cone. These fibers would be simple and robust, could operate over a wide range of temperatures, and would not require onboard consumables (i.e., ionization gas). Fibers can also be left open to vacuum conditions. Thus FOCIS is well suited to balloon flights and long duration space-craft applications. Though the light collection efficiency of FOCIS would be vastly less than RICH or CAPRICE, it would otherwise share their advantages over light-integrating Cherenkov detectors and would be applicable to heavy ion studies. Monte-Carlo simulations of a FOCIS detector are presented. These simulations indicate that FOCIS would have a relatively flat resolution over a range of energies, in distinct contrast to conventional light-integrating Cherenkov detectors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 1996
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2806, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Detectors, Techniques, and Missions, (18 October 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.254010
Show Author Affiliations
James Joseph Connell, Univ. of Chicago (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2806:
Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Detectors, Techniques, and Missions
Brian D. Ramsey; Thomas A. Parnell, Editor(s)

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