HPDs supplied to cosmic ray origins experiment

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US-based electro optics manufacturer Photonis has announced that it has been selected to provide a key component to the Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass (CREAM) experiment to study cosmic ray origins. Photonis will provide a number of hybrid photodiodes (HPDs) and their power supply units to the experiment.

The CREAM experiment involves a series of long duration balloon flights that provide extended exposure to and measurement of cosmic ray energies in order to understand their origin. CREAM is one of several experiments being conducted by the University of Maryland Cosmic Ray Physics Group.

Photonis HPDs were considered ideal for the CREAM project due to their combination of low power, low weight, and high channel-count, as well as their ability to measure single photons. The HPDs will be used as critical sensors on a new calorimeter readout system, which measures the energies of ionised cosmic particles. The Photonis HPDs will be installed as part of the CREAM VII flight, which is scheduled to launch in 2011.

The first CREAM experiment was launched in 2004, with a total of five successful flights since that time collecting data over a total of 158 days. The project group expects to launch at least five more flights. Photonis will deliver the new HPDs to be included on the seventh flight, replacing Photonis HPDs that were purchased for this project back in 2002.

Photonis HPDs had previously been proven to be effective in accelerated particle energy measurement in the CERN Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment in 2008. CREAM has selected a similar Photonis HPD model for inclusion in the new calorimeter readout system.