FiberGLAST is a scintillating fiber gamma-ray detector designed for the GLAST mission. The system described below provides superior effective area and field of view for modest cost and risk. An overview of the FiberGLAST instrument is presented, as well as a more detailed description of the principle elements of the primary detector volume. The triggering and readout electronics are described, and Monte Carlo Simulations of the instrument performance are presented.
The FiberGLAST scintillating fiber telescope is a large-area instrument concept for NASA's GLAST program. The detector is designed for high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, and uses plastic scintillating fibers to combine a photon pair tracking telescope and a calorimeter into a single instrument. A small prototype detector has been tested with high energy photons at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. We report on the result of this beam test, including scintillating fiber performance, photon track reconstruction, angular resolution, and detector efficiency.
A scintillating fiber detector is currently being studied for the NASA Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission. This detector utilizes modules composed of a thin converter sheet followed by an x, y plane of scintillating fibers to examine the shower of particles created by high energy gamma-rays interacting in the converter material. The detector is composed of a tracker with 90 such modular planes and a calorimeter with 36 planes. The two major component of this detector are the scintillating fibers and their associated photodetectors. Here we present current status of development and test result of both of these. The Hamamatsu R5900-00-M64 multianode photomultiplier tube (MAPMT) is the baseline readout device. A characterization of this device has been performed including noise, cross- talk, gain variation, vibration, and thermal/vacuum test. A prototype fiber/MAPMT system has been tested at the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices at Louisiana State University with a photon beam and preliminary results are presented.
An exciting possibility for the GLAST main instrument is a scintillating fiber system where the properties of both a tracker and a calorimeter are combined in one type of detector module. This instrument provides all the detector capabilities required to achieve the science goals of the GLAST mission, at a substantially reduced cost compared to the baseline technology, and with the benefit of increased effective area and superior low energy angular resolution.
The outstanding results of the EGRET experiment on CGRO have stimulated the search for a next generation of high-energy gamma-ray telescope. We discuss here the use of scintillating optical fibers for the development of a new type of gamma-ray telescope operating in the energy range 10 MeV and above. An all-sky high-energy monitor with ten times EGRET's sensitivity and superior detector characteristics is described. The detector is composed of layers of lead and plastic scintillating fibers that perform both the shower direction and energy measurement. We present here simulations of a system with ten radiation lengths of lead in it and show how the system achieves good directional accuracy and energy resolution. We also discuss the characteristics of a baseline technology demonstration module designed to verify the performance of the SIFTER system components.
A hybrid detector system is being developed for measuring the cosmic ray elemental composition and energy spectra above approximately GeV/nucleon. This system employs both a conventional 'passive' emulsion chamber and an 'active' ionization calorimeter incorporating scintillating fibers. Emulsion chambers have a proton energy threshold approximately greater than 5 TeV for detectable dark spots in the x-ray films which are used as a visual 'trigger.' The central element of this hybrid system is a calorimeter which has 10 x-y hodoscopic layers of 0.5 mm scintillating fibers interspersed with 4 mm lead plates. The fibers sample the hadronic and electromagnetic showers (cascades) initiated by interactions in the overlying emulsion chamber. The cascades are recorded by two image-intensified charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras which view the ends of the fibers to present orthogonal views. These showers are located and traced with microscopes in the emulsion chamber to provide an energy calibration through standard emulsion chamber methods, and an independent confirmation of the primary particle's charge (which is also measured with a Cerenkov counter above the emulsion chamber). The hybrid system will be used this fall for a balloon-borne measurement of the cosmic ray proton and helium spectra from approximately 400 GeV/n to approximately 10 TeV/n. An 8-hour test flight was performed in September 1995. Details of the detector system and sample results from the test flight are presented.
A concept for observation from space of the highest energy cosmic rays above 1020 eV with a satellite-borne observatory has been considered. A maximum-energy auger (air)-shower satellite (MASS) would use segmented lenses (and/or mirrors) and an array of imaging devices (about 106 pixels) to detect and record fluorescent light profiles of cosmic ray cascades in the atmosphere. The field-of-view of MASS could be extended to about (1000 km)2 so that more than 103 events per year could be observed above 1020 eV. From far above the atmosphere, MASS would be capable of observing events at all angles including near horizontal tracks, and would have considerable aperture for high energy photon and neutrino observation. With a large aperture and the spatial and temporal resolution, MASS could determine the energy spectrum, the mass composition, and arrival anisotropy of cosmic rays from 1020 eV to 1022 eV, a region hitherto not explored by ground-based detectors such as the fly's eye and air-shower arrays. MASS's ability to identify comic neutrinos and gamma rays may help providing evidence for the theory which attributes the above cut-off cosmic ray flux to the decay of topological defects.