Analysis of Individual Cosmic-Ray Proton and Helium Fluxes towards PeV Energies with DAMPE
July 25, 2023
The DArk Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) is a satellite-borne experiment, in operation since 2015, aimed at studying cosmic rays and high-energy gamma rays. Proton and helium are the first- and second-most abundant components in cosmic rays. Given their smaller interaction cross sections with the interstellar medium, compared to heavier nuclei, they can travel larger distances, thereby becoming important probes to cosmic-ray sources as well as acceleration and propagation mechanisms. Recently, in the DAMPE collaboration, machine learning (ML) techniques were developed and deployed to improve particle tracking and identification and correct for the calorimeter readout saturation at high energies. This work presents a direct measurement of the energy spectra of cosmic-ray protons and helium nuclei, using 84 and 81 months of data, respectively, recorded by DAMPE. Application of the above-mentioned ML techniques helps in extending the spectra to higher kinetic energies than those previously reported by DAMPE.
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