Characterization of a prototype imaging calorimeter for the Advanced Particle-astrophysics Telescope from an Antarctic balloon flight and CERN beam test
August 01, 2021
March 18, 2022
We report the results and analysis methods from field-testing the imaging calorimeter prototype for the Advanced Particle-astrophysics Telescope (APT) through an antarctic balloon flight (in the 2019 austral Antarctic balloon season) and through a CERN heavy-ion beam test in 2018. The Advanced Particle-astrophysics Telescope is a proposed space-based gamma- and cosmic-ray instrument that utilizes a novel distributed imaging calorimeter for both particle tracking and energy reconstruction. The imaging CsI calorimeter (ICC) consists of a CsI:Na scintillator read out by (WLS) fibers in both the x- and y-planes. To function both as a gamma-ray and cosmic-ray instrument APT must operate over a large dynamic range, from the single photon-election regime for low energy gamma-ray events to high-$Z$ cosmic-ray events. Analysis of data from a 150 mm x 150 mm prototype instrument (APTlite) on a piggy-back flight on the 2019 SuperTIGER-2.3 balloon instrument provided cosmic ray data that were used to demonstrate the key detector and electronics elements of the ICC. Significantly, analysis of flight data demonstrated the large dynamic range of the instrument, showing the possibility to reconstruct the nuclear charge through analysis of the scintillation tail of saturating high-Z cosmic-ray events by utilizing the deep memory depth available to the TARGET waveform digitizer electronics. Spatial reconstruction of events was performed using a two-sided Voigt profile demonstrating position localization within the imaging calorimeter plane to less 3 WLS fiber widths. Charge resolution was evaluated on a 50 mm x 50 mm prototype placed in the 150 GeV/nuc, A/Z = 2.2 CERN SPS beam line. Nuclei were tagged using HNX/TIGERISS silicon-strip detectors and silicon pad detectors, which allowed for fragmentation cuts in the data. The vastly saturating signals were reconstructed from the CsI:Na scintillation tail and show an APT charge resolution up to Z = 11 (with experimental limitations preventing full evaluation for Z larger 11) and demonstrated no significant non-linearity in the Z$^2$ measurement derived from the CsI:Na optical signal response up to $Z=82$.
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