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The Anticoincidence System of the PAMELA Satellite Experiment: Design of the data acquisition system and performance studies
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

PAMELA is a satellite-borne cosmic ray experiment. Its primary scientific objective is to study the antiproton and positron components of the cosmic radiation. This will be done with unprecedented statistics over a wide energy range (~10MeV to ~100GeV). The PAMELA experiment consists of a permanent magnetic spectrometer, an electromagnetic calorimeter, a Time-of-Fight system, a neutron detector and a shower tail catcher. An anticoincidence (AC) system surrounds the spectrometer to detect particles which do not pass cleanly through the acceptance of the spectrometer. PAMELA will be mounted on a Russian Earth-observation satellite, and the launch is scheduled for 2006. The anticoincidence system for PAMELA has been developed by KTH, and consists of plastic scintillator detectors with photomultiplier tube read-out. Extensive testing has been performed during the development phase. Results are presented for environmental tests, tests with cosmic-rays and particle beams.

The design of the digital part of the AC electronics has been realised on an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) and a DSP (Digital Signal Processor). It records signals from the 16 AC photomultipliers and from various sensors for over-current and temperature. It also provides functionality for setting the photomultiplier discrimination thresholds, system testing, issuing alarms and communication with the PAMELA main data acquisition system. The design philosophy and functionality needs to be reliable and suitable for use in a space environment.

To evaluate the performance of the AC detectors, a test utilizing cosmic-rays has been performed. The primary aim of the test was to calibrate the individual channels to gain knowledge of suitable discriminator levels for flight. A secondary aim was to estimate the AC detector efficiency. A lower limit of (99.89±0.04)% was obtained. An in-orbit simulation study was performed using protons to estimate trigger rates and investigate the AC system performance in a second level trigger. The average orbital trigger rate was estimated to be (8.4±0.6)Hz, consisting of (2.0±0.2)Hz good triggers and (6.4±0.5)Hz background. Inclusion of the AC system in the trigger condition to reduce background (for the purpose of data handling capacity) leads to losses of good triggers due to backscattering from the calorimeter (90% loss for 300GeV electrons and 25% for 100GeV protons). A method, using the calorimeter, for identifying backscattering events was investigated and found to reduce the loss of good events to below 1% (300GeV electrons) and 5% (100GeV protons), while maintaining a background reduction of 70%. of 70%.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2005. , 117 p.
Trita-FYS, ISSN 0280-316X ; 2005:68
Keyword [en]
PAMELA, satellites, astroparticle physics, electronics, anticoincidence system, trigger system
National Category
Subatomic Physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-532ISBN: 91-7178-209-5OAI: diva2:14321
Public defence
2005-12-09, FB42, AlbaNova, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 14:15
QC 20101019Available from: 2005-12-02 Created: 2005-12-02 Last updated: 2012-03-27Bibliographically approved

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