The PAMELA Mission: Heralding a new era in precision cosmic ray physics
2014 (English)In: Physics reports, ISSN 0370-1573, Vol. 544, no 4, 323-370 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
On the 15th of June 2006, the PAMELA (Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics) satellite-borne experiment was launched onboard the Russian Resurs-DK1 satellite by a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur space centre. The satellite was placed in a quasi-polar 70 degrees inclination orbit at an altitude varying between 350 km and 600 km. New results on the antiparticle component of the cosmic radiation were obtained. The positron energy spectrum and positron fraction were measured from 400 MeV up to 200 GeV revealing a positron excess over the predictions of commonly used propagation models. This can be interpreted either as evidence that the propagation models should be revised or in terms of dark matter annihilation or a pulsar contribution. The antiproton spectrum was measured over the energy range from 60 MeV to 350 GeV. The antiproton spectrum is consistent with secondary production and significantly constrains dark matter models. The energy spectra of protons and helium nuclei were measured up to 1.2 TV. The spectral shapes of these two species are different and cannot be described well by a single power law. For the First time the electron spectrum was measured up to 600 GeV complementing the information obtained from the positron data. Nuclear and isotopic composition was obtained with unprecedented precision. The variation of the low energy proton, electron and positron energy spectra was measured from July 2006 until December 2009 accurately sampling the unusual conditions of the most recent solar minimum activity period (2006-2009). Low energy particle spectra were accurately measured also for various solar events that occurred during the PAMELA mission. The Earth's magnetosphere was studied measuring the particle radiation in different regions of the magnetosphere. Energy spectra and composition of sub-cutoff and trapped particles were obtained. For the first time a belt of trapped antiprotons was detected in the South Atlantic Anomaly region. The flux was found to exceed that for galactic cosmic-ray antiprotons by three order of magnitude.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 544, no 4, 323-370 p.
Cosmic rays, Particle detectors, Antimatter, Dark matter, Heliosphere, Earth's magnetosphere
Other Physics Topics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158398DOI: 10.1016/j.physrep.2014.06.003ISI: 000345487600001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84911444194OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-158398DiVA: diva2:778245
QC 201501092015-01-092015-01-072015-01-09Bibliographically approved