The origin and nature of extreme energy cosmic rays (EECRs), which have energies above the —the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin (GZK) energy limit, is one of the most interesting and complicated problems in modern cosmic-ray physics. Existing ground-based detectors have helped to obtain remarkable results in studying cosmic rays before and after the GZK limit, but have also produced some contradictions in our understanding of cosmic ray mass composition. Moreover, each of these detectors covers only a part of the celestial sphere, which poses problems for studying the arrival directions of EECRs and identifying their sources. As a new generation of EECR space detectors, TUS (Tracking Ultraviolet Set-up), KLYPVE and JEM-EUSO, are intended to study the most energetic cosmic-ray particles, providing larger, uniform exposures of the entire celestial sphere. The TUS detector, launched on board the Lomonosov satellite on April 28, 2016 from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia, is the first of these. It employs a single-mirror optical system and a photomultiplier tube matrix as a photo-detector and will test the fluorescent method of measuring EECRs from space. Utilizing the Earth’s atmosphere as a huge calorimeter, it is expected to detect EECRs with energies above .
It will also be able to register slower atmospheric transient events: atmospheric fluorescence in electrical discharges of various types including precipitating electrons escaping the magnetosphere and from the radiation of meteors passing through the atmosphere. We describe the design of the TUS detector and present results of different ground-based tests and simulations.
Klimov P.A., Panasyuk M.I., Khrenov B.A., et al.
Space Science Reviews