HEAT – a low energy enhancement of the Pierre Auger Observatory
19 May 2011
1RWTH Aachen University, III. Physikalisches Institut A, Aachen, Germany
2Observatorio Pierre Auger, Av. San Martin Norte 304, (5613) Malargüe, Mendoza, Argentina
*Full author list: http://www.auger.org/archive/authors_2010_10.html
Abstract. The High Elevation Auger Telescopes (HEAT) are three tiltable fluorescence telescopes which represent a low energy enhancement of the fluorescence telescope system of the southern site of the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina.
The Pierre Auger Observatory is a hybrid cosmic ray detector consisting of 24 fluorescence telescopes to measure the fluorescence light of extensive air showers complemented by 1600 water Cherenkov detectors to determine the particle densities at ground. In this configuration air showers with a primary energy of 1018 eV and above are investigated.
By lowering the energy threshold by approximately one order of magnitude down to a primary energy of 1017 eV, HEAT provides the possibility to study the cosmic ray energy spectrum and mass composition in a very interesting energy range, where the transition from galactic to extragalactic cosmic rays is expected to happen.
The installation of HEAT was finished in 2009 and data have been taken continuously since September 2009. Within these proceedings the HEAT concept is presented. First data already demonstrate the excellent complement of the standard Auger fluorescence telescopes by HEAT.