Particle identification with the AMS-02 RICH detector: search for dark matter with antideuterons


The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), whose final version AMS-02 is to be installed on the International Space Station (ISS) for at least 3 years, is a detector designed to measure charged cosmic ray spectra with energies up to the TeV region and with high energy photon detection capability up to a few hundred GeV, using state-of-the art particle identification techniques. It is equipped with several subsystems, one of which is a proximity focusing Ring Imaging Cherenkov (RICH) detector equipped with a dual radiator (aerogel+NaF), a lateral conical mirror and a detection plane made of 680 photomultipliers and light guides, enabling precise measurements of particle electric charge and velocity (Delta beta / beta ~ 10^-3 and 10^-4 for Z=1 and Z=10-20, respectively) at kinetic energies of a few GeV/nucleon. Combining velocity measurements with data on particle rigidity from the AMS-02 Tracker (Delta R / R ~ 2% for R=1-10 GV) it is possible to obtain a reliable measurement for particle mass. One of the main topics of the AMS-02 physics program is the search for indirect signatures of dark matter. Experimental data indicate that dark, non-baryonic matter of unknown composition is much more abundant than baryonic matter, accounting for a large fraction of the energy content of the Universe. Apart from antideuterons produced in cosmic-ray propagation, the annihilation of dark matter will produce additional antideuteron fluxes. Detailed Monte Carlo simulations of AMS-02 have been used to evaluate the detector's performance for mass separation, a key issue for anti-D/anti-p separation. Results of these studies are presented.Comment: 5 pages. Contribution to the 20th European Cosmic Ray Symposium (Lisbon 2006). Presenter: Rui Pereir

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