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Published 2001 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

ECCO: Th/U/Pu/Cm Dating of Galactic Cosmic Ray Nuclei


The ECCO instrument is one of two instruments which comprise the HNX mission. The principal goal of ECCO (the Extremely-heavy Cosmic-ray Composition Observer) is to measure the age of galactic cosmic ray nuclei using the actinides (Th, U, Pu, Cm) as clocks. As a bonus, ECCO will search with unprecedented sensitivity for longlived elements in the superheavy island of stability. ECCO is an enormous array (23 m2 ) of BP-1 glass track-etch detectors, and is based on the successful flight heritage of the Trek detector which was deployed externally on Mir. We present a description of the instrument, estimates of expected performance, and recent calibrations which demonstrate that the actinides can be resolved from each other with good charge resolution.

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