Silicon Photomultiplier use in Particle Astrophysics and Heliophysics Missions
July 22, 2019
Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPM) are increasingly being used in ground-based astrophysics experiments as a replacement for Photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). These compact low power, rugged sensors are also well suited
for space applications and have an added advantage over PMTs in that they do not require high-voltage bias. Efforts are underway at NASA Goddard and our collaborators to develop large-area arrays of SiPMs as the readout
for the upcoming funded CubeSat missions such as BurstCube and Terrestrial RaYs Analysis and Detection (TRYAD) and also larger missions including the ultra-heavy cosmic-ray Heavy Nuclei Explorer (HNX) experiment and the
gamma-ray Advanced Particle-astrophysics Telescope (APT) experiment. Our team has recently tested SiPMs in a heavy ion beam at CERN. The primary beam consisted of lead ions with energy of ~150 GeV/nuc. SiPM hardware was
exposed to both a pure and fragmented Pb beam allowing us to look at ions from Z=1 to Z=82. We report in this paper on direct comparisons with the performance of Hamamatsu R1924A photomultipliers in addition to examining the signals (and subsequent
effects) from direct exposure to a lead beam.
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