Commissioning, Calibration, and Performance of the Cherenkov Telescope on EUSO-SPB2
July 25, 2023
The detection of astrophysical neutrinos by IceCube in the TeV-PeV energy range motivates the development of instruments for observing these particles at higher energies. Moreover, the detection of very-high-energy (VHE) neutrinos could potentially bring constraints on ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) source models. Tau neutrinos skimming the Earth under a shallow angle can be detected through the decay of a tau resulting in an extensive air shower (EAS) in the atmosphere. The EAS can be detected by capturing some of the optical Cherenkov signal originating from the EAS particles. To assess the feasibility of the Earth-skimming technique from high altitudes, we developed a Cherenkov telescope which was deployed on the Extreme Universe Space Observatory Super Pressure Balloon 2 (EUSO-SPB2) from Wanaka, NZ, on May 13th. It is a precursor for the Probe of Extreme Multi-Messenger Astrophysics. The 1 m diameter Cherenkov telescope for EUSO-SPB2 had a focal plane comprised of 512 silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) covering a 6.4 x 12.8 square degree field of view coupled to a 100 MS/s readout based on the GET switch capacitor ring sampler. We discuss the calibration and commissioning of the telescope and its in-flight performance.
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