The Gamma-ray Burst Polarimeter-POLAR is a highly sensitive detector which is dedicated to the measurement of GRB’s polarization with a large effective detection area and a large field of view (FOV). The optimized performance of POLAR will contribute to the capture and measurement of the transient sources like GRBs and Solar Flares. The detection energy range of POLAR is 50 keV ~ 500 keV, and mainly dominated by the Compton scattering effect. POLAR consists of 25 detector modular units (DMUs), and each DMU is composed of low Z material Plastic Scintillators (PS), multi-anode photomultipliers (MAPMT) and multi-channel ASIC Front-end Electronics (FEE). POLAR experiment is an international collaboration project involving China, Switzerland and Poland, and is expected to be launched in September in 2016 onboard the Chinese space laboratory “Tiangong-2 (TG-2)”. With the efforts from the collaborations, POLAR has experienced the Demonstration Model (DM) phase, Engineering and Qualification Model (EQM) phase, Qualification Model (QM) phase, and now a full Flight Model (FM) of POLAR has been constructed. The FM of POLAR has passed the environmental acceptance tests (thermal cycling, vibration, shock and thermal vacuum tests) and experienced the calibration tests with both radioactive sources and 100% polarized Gamma-Ray beam at ESRF after its construction. The design of POLAR, Monte-Carlo simulation analysis, as well as the performance test results will all be introduced in this paper.
The High Energy cosmic-Radiation Detection (HERD) facility is one of several space astronomy payloads of the cosmic lighthouse program onboard China's Space Station, which is planned for operation starting around 2020 for about 10 years. The main scientific objectives of HERD are indirect dark matter search, precise cosmic ray spectrum and composition measurements up to the knee energy, and high energy gamma-ray monitoring and survey. HERD is composed of a 3-D cubic calorimeter (CALO) surrounded by microstrip silicon trackers (STKs) from five sides except the bottom. CALO is made of about 104 cubes of LYSO crystals, corresponding to about 55 radiation lengths and 3 nuclear interaction lengths, respectively. The top STK microstrips of seven X-Y layers are sandwiched with tungsten converters to make precise directional measurements of incoming electrons and gamma-rays. In the baseline design, each of the four side SKTs is made of only three layers microstrips. All STKs will also be used for measuring the charge and incoming directions of cosmic rays, as well as identifying back scattered tracks. With this design, HERD can achieve the following performance: energy resolution of 1% for electrons and gamma-rays beyond 100 GeV, 20% for protons from 100 GeV to 1 PeV; electron/proton separation power better than 10-5; effective geometrical factors of >3 m2sr for electron and diffuse gamma-rays, >2 m2sr for cosmic ray nuclei. R and D is under way for reading out the LYSO signals with optical fiber coupled to image intensified CCD and the prototype of one layer of CALO.
POLAR is a joint European-Chinese experiment aimed at a precise measurement of hard X-ray polarization (50-500 keV) of the prompt emission of Gamma-Ray Bursts. The main aim is a better understanding of the geometry of astrophysical sources and of the X-ray emission mechanisms. POLAR is a compact Compton polarimeter characterized by a large modulation factor, effective area, and field of view. It consists of 1600 low-Z plastic scintillator bars read out by 25 at-panel multi-anode photomultipliers. The incoming X-rays undergo Compton scattering in the bars and produce a modulation pattern; experiments with polarized synchrotron radiation and GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulations have shown that the polarization degree and angle can be retrieved from this pattern with the accuracy necessary for identifying the GRB mechanism. The flight model of POLAR is currently under construction in Geneva. The POLAR instrument will be placed onboard the Chinese spacelab TG-2, scheduled for launch in low Earth orbit in 2015. The main milestones of the space qualification campaign will be described in the paper.