Measurements of cosmic-ray antiprotons with PAMELA
27 Jun 2011
1KTH, Department of Physics, and the Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics, AlbaNova University Centre, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
*On leave from School of Mathematics and Physics, China University of Geosciences, CN-430074 Wuhan, China
Abstract. The PAMELA experiment is a satellite-borne apparatus designed to study charged particles, and especially antiparticles, in the cosmic radiation. The apparatus is mounted on the Resurs DK1 satellite which was launched on 15 June 2006. PAMELA has been traveling around the earth along an elliptical and semi-polar orbit for almost five years. It mainly consists of a permanent magnetic spectrometer, a time of flight system and an electromagnetic imaging calorimeter, which allows antiprotons to be identified from a dominating cosmic-ray background. New measurements of the cosmic-ray antiproton flux and the antiproton-to-proton flux ratio between 60 MeV and 180 GeV are presented, employing data collected between June 2006 and December 2008. Compared to previous experiments, PAMELA extends the energy range of antiproton measurements and provides significantly higher statistics. The derived antiproton flux and antiproton-to-proton flux ratio indicates that the main source of cosmic-ray antiprotons is considered to be secondary production and no primary contribution has to be invoked.