REXUS-25 rocket flight of a CubeSat cosmic-ray detector

Bjarni Pont, Jochem Beurskens, Joris Joep Dalderup, Peter Dolron, Jeroen Antonius Franciscus Gubbels, Jörg R. Hörandel, Roel Jordans, Hamid Pourshaghaghi, D. Szálas-Motesiczky, Tim Alexander van Vliet, Mark Wijtvliet, J. Witteman

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Abstract

In recent years CubeSats have been revolutionizing research in space, enabling low-budget, small-scale, and fast-development of projects. The Rocket Experiments for University Students (REXUS) program provides students from higher education opportunities to perform their scientific and technological experiments on a sounding rocket launching to space. A compact cosmic-ray detector, build to CubeSat specifications, has been designed to detect light produced in a scintillating material when cosmic rays pass through. At only 1 dm 3 in size and operating on only 1 Watt, this REXUS payload as part of the Payload for Radiation measurement and Radio-interferometry in Rockets (PR3), has measured the charged-particle rate going up in the atmosphere and into space. Besides providing a chance for students to work on reproducing the historical discoveries of Hess, Pfotzer, Regener, Van Allen, and others in the last century, it has also been an outreach opportunity to engage the general public with astroparticle physics. But above all, it is a proof of concept for compact cosmic-ray detectors in orbit. Where the worldwide network of neutron detectors is able to monitor the cosmic-ray flux at ground level, and detectors on the ground and in space detect cosmic rays locally, global near-real-time coverage of cosmic-ray flux above the atmosphere is only feasible with an ensemble of small and cheap detectors like the one presented here. Details on the detector design and performance, and the results from the rocket flight will be presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication36th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2019) - CRD - Cosmic Ray Direct
Number of pages8
Volume358
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2019
EventInternational Cosmic Ray Conference - Madison, United States
Duration: 24 Jul 20191 Aug 2019
Conference number: 36
https://www.icrc2019.org/

Publication series

NameProceedings of Science
PublisherSissa Medialab Srl
ISSN (Print)1824-8039

Conference

ConferenceInternational Cosmic Ray Conference
Abbreviated titleICRC2019
CountryUnited States
CityMadison
Period24/07/191/08/19
Internet address

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    Pont, B., Beurskens, J., Dalderup, J. J., Dolron, P., Gubbels, J. A. F., Hörandel, J. R., Jordans, R., Pourshaghaghi, H., Szálas-Motesiczky, D., van Vliet, T. A., Wijtvliet, M., & Witteman, J. (2019). REXUS-25 rocket flight of a CubeSat cosmic-ray detector. In 36th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2019) - CRD - Cosmic Ray Direct (Vol. 358). [124] (Proceedings of Science).