PoS - Proceedings of Science
Volume 441 - XVIII International Conference on Topics in Astroparticle and Underground Physics (TAUP2023) - Dark Matter and its Detection
The DarkNESS mission: probing dark matter with a Skipper-CCD satellite observatory
N. Saffold*, P.M. Alpine, R. Essig, J. Estrada, T. Kim, D. Kubik and M.F. Lembeck
Full text: pdf
Pre-published on: February 20, 2024
Published on: March 22, 2024
The invention of Skipper-CCDs with sub-electron noise has paved the way for groundbreaking low-threshold dark matter (DM) experiments, such as SENSEI and DAMIC. Conventionally, these experiments are deployed underground to mitigate cosmogenic backgrounds; however, some DM signatures are inaccessible to underground experiments due to attenuation in the Earth’s atmosphere and crust. The DarkNESS mission will deploy an array of Skipper-CCDs on a 6U CubeSat in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to search for electron recoils from strongly-interacting sub-GeV DM as well as X-ray line signatures from sterile neutrino decay. Using a series of observations from LEO, the DarkNESS mission will set competitive upper limits on the DM-electron scattering cross section and help resolve the experimental conundrum associated with the purported observation of a 3.5 keV X-ray line, potentially produced from sterile neutrino decay. This work will describe the DarkNESS instrument, the technical challenges in operating Skipper-CCDs in the space environment, the scientific objectives of the DarkNESS mission, and the DM parameter space that DarkNESS will probe.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22323/1.441.0062
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