Plastic scintillator detector for the High Energy cosmic-Radiation Detection (HERD)
2019 July 22
The High Energy Cosmic Radiation Detection (HERD) facility onboard the future China’s SpaceStation (CSS) will provide high quality data on charged cosmic rays and gamma rays reaching themeasured range from few GeV to PeV energies. Because of this capability, HERD experimentwould give a valuable contribution in several scientific topics as dark matter searches, study ofcosmic ray chemical composition and high energy gamma-ray observations. The entire instru-ment is supposed to be surrounded by a plastic scintillator detector (PSD) which will be used todiscriminate charged from neutral particles in order to correctly identify gamma-rays and nuclei.One configuration proposed and studied for the HERD PSD detector is the geometry of scintil-lator segmented in tiles and coupled to Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPMs). SiPMs provide similaror even better performances to the standard photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) with lower power con-sumption and cost benefits. In 2018, beam test campaigns were performed at CERN PS and SPSto test two prototypes of plastic scintillator tiles, equipped with a set of SiPMs. One was testedwith a beam of electrons and pions and another prototype with an ion beam.In the first prototype we studied the dependence of the collected light on the impact point of thebeam particles and in the second one we tested the capability of the PSD to discriminate the ioncharges. These results are presented.