The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a new observatory for very high-energy (VHE) gamma rays. CTA has ambitions science goals, for which it is necessary to achieve full-sky coverage, to improve the sensitivity by about an order of magnitude, to span about four decades of energy, from a few tens of GeV to above 100 TeV with enhanced angular and energy resolutions over existing VHE gamma-ray observatories. An international collaboration has formed with more than 1000 members from 27 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America. In 2010 the CTA Consortium completed a and started a three-year which leads to production readiness of CTA in 2014. In this paper we introduce the science goals and the concept of CTA, and provide an overview of the project.
We evaluate the exposure during nadir observations with JEM-EUSO, the Extreme Universe Space Observatory, on-board the Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station. Designed as a mission to explore the extreme energy Universe from space, JEM-EUSO will monitor the Earth’s nighttime atmosphere to record the ultraviolet light from tracks generated by extensive air showers initiated by ultra-high energy cosmic rays. In the present work, we discuss the particularities of space-based observation and we compute the annual exposure in nadir observation. The results are based on studies of the expected trigger aperture and observational duty cycle, as well as, on the investigations of the effects of clouds and different types of background light. We show that the annual exposure is about one order of magnitude higher than those of the presently operating ground-based observatories.
MAGIC is a system of two Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes located in the Canary island of La Palma, Spain. During summer 2011 and 2012 it underwent a series of upgrades, involving the exchange of the MAGIC-I camera and its trigger system, as well as the upgrade of the readout system of both telescopes. We use observations of the Crab Nebula taken at low and medium zenith angles to assess the key performance parameters of the MAGIC stereo system. For low zenith angle observations, the standard trigger threshold of the MAGIC telescopes is ∼ 50 GeV. The integral sensitivity for point-like sources with Crab Nebula-like spectrum above 220 GeV is (0.66 ± 0.03)% of Crab Nebula flux in 50 h of observations. The angular resolution, defined as the of a 2-dimensional Gaussian distribution, at those energies is ≲ 0.07°, while the energy resolution is 16%. We also re-evaluate the effect of the systematic uncertainty on the data taken with the MAGIC telescopes after the upgrade. We estimate that the systematic uncertainties can be divided in the following components: < 15% in energy scale, 11%–18% in flux normalization and ± 0.15 for the energy spectrum power-law slope.
This is a report on the status and prospects of the quantification of neutrino properties through the cosmological neutrino background for the Cosmic Frontier of the Division of Particles and Fields Community Summer Study long-term planning exercise. Experiments planned and underway are prepared to study the cosmological neutrino background in detail via its influence on distance-redshift relations and the growth of structure. The program for the next decade described in this document, including upcoming spectroscopic galaxy surveys eBOSS and DESI and a new Stage-IV CMB polarization experiment CMB-S4, will achieve = 16 meV and = 0.020. Such a mass measurement will produce a high significance detection of non-zero , whose lower bound derived from atmospheric and solar neutrino oscillation data is about 58 meV. If neutrinos have a minimal normal mass hierarchy, this measurement will definitively rule out the inverted neutrino mass hierarchy, shedding light on one of the most puzzling aspects of the Standard Model of particle physics — the origin of mass. This precise a measurement of will allow for high sensitivity to any light and dark degrees of freedom produced in the big bang and a precision test of the standard cosmological model prediction that .
Previous measurements of the composition of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) made by the High Resolution Fly's Eye (HiRes) and Pierre Auger Observatory (PAO) are seemingly contradictory, but utilize different detection methods, as HiRes was a stereo detector and PAO is a hybrid detector. The five year Telescope Array (TA) Middle Drum hybrid composition measurement is similar in some, but not all, respects in methodology to PAO, and good agreement is evident between data and a light, largely protonic, composition when comparing the measurements to predictions obtained with the QGSJetII-03 and QGSJet-01c models. These models are also in agreement with previous HiRes stereo measurements, confirming the equivalence of the stereo and hybrid methods. The data is incompatible with a pure iron composition, for all models examined, over the available range of energies. The elongation rate and mean values of are in good agreement with Pierre Auger Observatory data. This analysis is presented using two methods: data cuts using simple geometrical variables and a new pattern recognition technique.
► Correlation of ultra high energy cosmic rays with nearby extragalactic matter. ► Evidence of anisotropy in ultra high energy arrival directions. ► Autocorrelation of arrival directions shows modest excess over broad range of small angular scales. ► The largest observed excess occurs in the region around the radiogalaxy Cen A. Data collected by the Pierre Auger Observatory through 31 August 2007 showed evidence for anisotropy in the arrival directions of cosmic rays above the Greisen–Zatsepin–Kuz’min energy threshold, 6 × 10 eV. The anisotropy was measured by the fraction of arrival directions that are less than 3.1° from the position of an active galactic nucleus within 75 Mpc (using the Véron-Cetty and Véron 12th catalog). An updated measurement of this fraction is reported here using the arrival directions of cosmic rays recorded above the same energy threshold through 31 December 2009. The number of arrival directions has increased from 27 to 69, allowing a more precise measurement. The correlating fraction is , compared with 21% expected for isotropic cosmic rays. This is down from the early estimate of . The enlarged set of arrival directions is examined also in relation to other populations of nearby extragalactic objects: galaxies in the 2 Microns All Sky Survey and active galactic nuclei detected in hard X-rays by the Swift Burst Alert Telescope. A celestial region around the position of the radiogalaxy Cen A has the largest excess of arrival directions relative to isotropic expectations. The 2-point autocorrelation function is shown for the enlarged set of arrival directions and compared to the isotropic expectation.
► We review air shower data related to the mass composition of cosmic rays above 10 eV. ► We review of different approaches of composition studies with surface and optical detectors. ► We interpret data in terms of primary mass. In this paper we review air shower data related to the mass composition of cosmic rays above 10 eV. After explaining the basic relations between air shower observables and the primary mass and energy of cosmic rays, we present different approaches and results of composition studies with surface detectors. Furthermore, we discuss measurements of the longitudinal development of air showers from non-imaging Cherenkov detectors and fluorescence telescopes. The interpretation of these experimental results in terms of primary mass is highly susceptible to the theoretical uncertainties of hadronic interactions in air showers. We nevertheless attempt to calculate the logarithmic mass from the data using different hadronic interaction models and to study its energy dependence from 10 eV to 10 eV.
► Extensive simulations for the design and optimization of CTA were carried out. ► Different sets of simulation tools were checked against each other. ► Large-scale simulations with 275 telescopes for later layout selection.► Different analysis methods were applied and compared. ► Resulting sensitivity predictions confirmed the goals of CTA. The Cherenkov Telescopes Array (CTA) is planned as the future instrument for very-high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray astronomy with a wide energy range of four orders of magnitude and an improvement in sensitivity compared to current instruments of about an order of magnitude. Monte Carlo simulations are a crucial tool in the design of CTA. The ultimate goal of these simulations is to find the most cost-effective solution for given physics goals and thus sensitivity goals or to find, for a given cost, the solution best suited for different types of targets with CTA. Apart from uncertain component cost estimates, the main problem in this procedure is the dependence on a huge number of configuration parameters, both in specifications of individual telescope types and in the array layout. This is addressed by simulation of a huge array intended as a superset of many different realistic array layouts, and also by simulation of array subsets for different telescope parameters. Different analysis methods – in use with current installations and extended (or developed specifically) for CTA – are applied to the simulated data sets for deriving the expected sensitivity of CTA. In this paper we describe the current status of this iterative approach to optimize the CTA design and layout.
The DArk Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), one of the four scientific space science missions within the framework of the Strategic Pioneer Program on Space Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is a general purpose high energy cosmic-ray and gamma-ray observatory, which was successfully launched on December 17th, 2015 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The DAMPE scientific objectives include the study of galactic cosmic rays up to ∼ 10 TeV and hundreds of TeV for electrons/gammas and nuclei respectively, and the search for dark matter signatures in their spectra. In this paper we illustrate the layout of the DAMPE instrument, and discuss the results of beam tests and calibrations performed on ground. Finally we present the expected performance in space and give an overview of the mission key scientific goals.
► XENON100 is currently one of the most sensitive experiments to detect WIMP dark matter. ► Detector design and active/passive shielding reduce the radioactive background level. ► The event vertex of an interaction is reconstructed with a few mm precision. ► All position dependent signal corrections are presented in the paper. ► An energy scale exploiting the light-charge anti-correlation leads to an energy resolution competitive with NaI(Tl) crystals. The XENON100 dark matter experiment uses liquid xenon (LXe) in a time projection chamber (TPC) to search for xenon nuclear recoils resulting from the scattering of dark matter Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs). In this paper we present a detailed description of the detector design and present performance results, as established during the commissioning phase and during the first science runs. The active target of XENON100 contains 62 kg of LXe, surrounded by an LXe veto of 99 kg, both instrumented with photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) operating inside the liquid or in xenon gas. The LXe target and veto are contained in a low-radioactivity stainless steel vessel, embedded in a passive radiation shield and is installed underground at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS), Italy. The experiment has recently published results from a 100 live-days dark matter search. The ultimate design goal of XENON100 is to achieve a spin-independent WIMP-nucleon scattering cross section sensitivity of = 2 × 10 cm for a 100 GeV/c WIMP.
The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory is an array of large water Cherenkov detectors sensitive to gamma rays and hadronic cosmic rays in the energy band between 100 GeV and 100 TeV. The observatory will be used to measure high-energy protons and cosmic rays via detection of the energetic secondary particles reaching the ground when one of these particles interacts in the atmosphere above the detector. HAWC is under construction at a site 4100 meters above sea level on the northern slope of the volcano Sierra Negra, which is located in central Mexico at 19 N latitude. It is scheduled for completion in 2014. In this paper we estimate the sensitivity of the HAWC instrument to point-like and extended sources of gamma rays. The source fluxes are modeled using both unbroken power laws and power laws with exponential cutoffs. HAWC, in one year, is sensitive to point sources with integral power-law spectra as low as above 2 TeV (approximately 50 mCrab) over 5 sr of the sky. This is a conservative estimate based on simple event parameters and is expected to improve as the data analysis techniques are refined. We discuss known TeV sources and the scientific contributions that HAWC can make to our understanding of particle acceleration in these sources.
MAGIC is a system of two Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes located in the Canary island of La Palma. Since autumn 2009 both telescopes have been working together in stereoscopic mode, providing a significant improvement with respect to the previous single-telescope observations. We use observations of the Crab Nebula taken at low zenith angles to assess the performance of the MAGIC stereo system. The trigger threshold of the MAGIC telescopes is 50 − 60 GeV. Advanced stereo analysis techniques allow MAGIC to achieve a sensitivity as good as (0.76 ± 0.03)% of the Crab Nebula flux in 50 h of observations above 290 GeV. The angular resolution at those energies is better than ∼0.07°. We also perform a detailed study of possible systematic effects which may influence the analysis of the data taken with the MAGIC telescopes.
The MAGIC telescopes are two Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) located on the Canary island of La Palma. The telescopes are designed to measure Cherenkov light from air showers initiated by gamma rays in the energy regime from around 50 GeV to more than 50 TeV. The two telescopes were built in 2004 and 2009, respectively, with different cameras, triggers and readout systems. In the years 2011–2012 the MAGIC collaboration undertook a major upgrade to make the stereoscopic system uniform, improving its overall performance and easing its maintenance. In particular, the camera, the receivers and the trigger of the first telescope were replaced and the readout of the two telescopes was upgraded. This paper (Part I) describes the details of the upgrade as well as the basic performance parameters of MAGIC such as raw data treatment, linearity in the electronic chain and sources of noise. In Part II, we describe the physics performance of the upgraded system.
► IceCube DeepCore lowers the neutrino energy threshold in IceCube to as low as 10 GeV. ► The surrounding IceCube detector is an active veto against cosmic ray muons. ► IceCube DeepCore uses higher quantum efficiency PMTs in very clear ice. ► IceCube DeepCore has a module density 5× higher than the rest of IceCube. The IceCube neutrino observatory in operation at the South Pole, Antarctica, comprises three distinct components: a large buried array for ultrahigh energy neutrino detection, a surface air shower array, and a new buried component called DeepCore. DeepCore was designed to lower the IceCube neutrino energy threshold by over an order of magnitude, to energies as low as about 10 GeV. DeepCore is situated primarily 2100 m below the surface of the icecap at the South Pole, at the bottom center of the existing IceCube array, and began taking physics data in May 2010. Its location takes advantage of the exceptionally clear ice at those depths and allows it to use the surrounding IceCube detector as a highly efficient active veto against the principal background of downward-going muons produced in cosmic-ray air showers. DeepCore has a module density roughly five times higher than that of the standard IceCube array, and uses photomultiplier tubes with a new photocathode featuring a quantum efficiency about 35% higher than standard IceCube PMTs. Taken together, these features of DeepCore will increase IceCube’s sensitivity to neutrinos from WIMP dark matter annihilations, atmospheric neutrino oscillations, galactic supernova neutrinos, and point sources of neutrinos in the northern and southern skies. In this paper we describe the design and initial performance of DeepCore.
► We review the physics case of the next-generation neutrino observatory LENA. ► The low-energy program aims at the observation of astrophysical neutrino sources. ► At GeV energies, proton decay and long-baseline neutrino beam experiments explore Grand Unification and oscillation parameters. ► The current status of the LENA detector design is presented. As part of the European LAGUNA design study on a next-generation neutrino detector, we propose the liquid-scintillator detector LENA (Low Energy Neutrino Astronomy) as a multipurpose neutrino observatory. The outstanding successes of the Borexino and KamLAND experiments demonstrate the large potential of liquid-scintillator detectors in low-energy neutrino physics. Low energy threshold, good energy resolution and efficient background discrimination are inherent to the liquid-scintillator technique. A target mass of 50 kt will offer a substantial increase in detection sensitivity. At low energies, the variety of detection channels available in liquid scintillator will allow for an energy – and flavor-resolved analysis of the neutrino burst emitted by a galactic Supernova. Due to target mass and background conditions, LENA will also be sensitive to the faint signal of the Diffuse Supernova Neutrino Background. Solar metallicity, time-variation in the solar neutrino flux and deviations from MSW–LMA survival probabilities can be investigated based on unprecedented statistics. Low background conditions allow to search for dark matter by observing rare annihilation neutrinos. The large number of events expected for geoneutrinos will give valuable information on the abundances of Uranium and Thorium and their relative ratio in the Earth’s crust and mantle. Reactor neutrinos enable a high-precision measurement of solar mixing parameters. A strong radioactive or pion decay-at-rest neutrino source can be placed close to the detector to investigate neutrino oscillations for short distances and sub-MeV to MeV energies. At high energies, LENA will provide a new lifetime limit for the SUSY-favored proton decay mode into kaon and antineutrino, surpassing current experimental limits by about one order of magnitude. Recent studies have demonstrated that a reconstruction of momentum and energy of GeV particles is well feasible in liquid scintillator. Monte Carlo studies on the reconstruction of the complex event topologies found for neutrino interactions at multi-GeV energies have shown promising results. If this is confirmed, LENA might serve as far detector in a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment currently investigated in LAGUNA-LBNO.
► New analysis of charge ratio of muons. ► Reduced contribution of positive kaons. ► Implications for atmospheric neutrinos. Interpretation of measurements of the muon charge ratio in the TeV range depends on the spectra of protons and neutrons in the primary cosmic radiation and on the inclusive cross sections for production of and in the atmosphere. Recent measurements of the spectra of cosmic-ray nuclei are used here to estimate separately the energy spectra of protons and neutrons and hence to calculate the charge separated hadronic cascade in the atmosphere. From the corresponding production spectra of and the / ratio is calculated and compared to recent measurements. The comparison leads to a determination of the relative contribution of kaons and pions. Implications for the spectra of and are discussed.
For any realistic halo profile, the Galactic Center is predicted to be the brightest source of gamma-rays from dark matter annihilations. Due in large part to uncertainties associated with the dark matter distribution and astrophysical backgrounds, however, the most commonly applied constraints on the dark matter annihilation cross section have been derived from other regions, such as dwarf spheroidal galaxies. In this article, we study Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope data from the direction of the inner Galaxy and derive stringent upper limits on the dark matter’s annihilation cross section. Even for the very conservative case of a dark matter distribution with a significant ( kpc) constant-density core, normalized to the minimum density needed to accommodate rotation curve and microlensing measurements, we find that the Galactic Center constraint is approximately as stringent as those derived from dwarf galaxies (which were derived under the assumption of an NFW distribution). For NFW or Einasto profiles (again, normalized to the minimum allowed density), the Galactic Center constraints are typically stronger than those from dwarfs.
The first sensors of the IceCube neutrino observatory were deployed at the South Pole during the austral summer of 2004–2005 and have been producing data since February 2005. One string of 60 sensors buried in the ice and a surface array of eight ice Cherenkov tanks took data until December 2005 when deployment of the next set of strings and tanks began. We have analyzed these data, demonstrating that the performance of the system meets or exceeds design requirements. Times are determined across the whole array to a relative precision of better than 3 ns, allowing reconstruction of muon tracks and light bursts in the ice, of air-showers in the surface array and of events seen in coincidence by surface and deep-ice detectors separated by up to 2.5 km.