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Published August 2015 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Analysis of GCR Spectra and Composition Using Penetrating Particle Data from the CRIS Instrument on ACE


The Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer (CRIS) on NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft has been making precise measurements of cosmic-ray elemental and isotopic composition and energy spectra for nearly 18 years. This instrument uses the dE/dx versus total energy technique to identify nuclei that stop in thick stacks of silicon solid-state detectors and to measure their energy. The energy range covered for these stopping particles extends up to ∼280 MeV/nuc for O and ∼570 MeV/nuc for Fe. We have developed a new technique for identifying particles that penetrate the entire detector stack that relies on a combination of the total energy deposited in the stack and the change of dE/dx from the front to the back of the stack. This technique allows us to extend energy spectra for cosmic-ray elements to higher energies and can be used for bridging the energy gap between the CRIS stopping-particle spectra and measurements made in low-Earth orbit by instruments such as HEAO-C2, PAMELA, and AMS-02. We describe the technique for assigning atomic number and energy to penetrating particle events and discuss the corrections needed for deriving energy spectra from these data.

Additional Information

Copyright owned by the author(s) under the term of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. We thank Nathan Yanasak, Jeff George, and Kelly Lave for their extensive work on obtaining elemental spectra from the CRIS stopping particle data and in developing the corrections needed for deriving cosmic-ray intensities. This work was supported by NASA at JPL, Caltech, Washington Univ., and NASA/GSFC.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023