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Published August 2015 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

SuperTIGER and the Origin of Galactic Cosmic-Rays


The SuperTIGER (Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder) long-duration balloon instrument has measured the abundances of galactic cosmic-ray elements from _(10)Ne to _(40)Zr with high statistics and single element resolution and its measurements extend to about _(60)Nd. SuperTIGER is the first instrument to measure the abundance of every element from Z = 30 to 40 with significant statistics, recording more than 600 nuclei with atomic number Z > 30 in its first flight. Its measured nuclear charge resolution is excellent, with σ_Z = 0.16 c.u. at _(26)Fe. From 0.8 to 10 GeV/nucleon it also measures the energy spectra of the more abundant elements with 10 ≤ Z ≤ 30. SuperTIGER-1 launched from Williams Field, McMurdo Station, Antarctica, on December 8, 2012, flew for a record 55 days and over 2.5 revolutions around the continent, returned data on over 50 million heavy cosmic ray nuclei. The instrument has now been recovered from Antarctica and preparations are underway for its next flight. Instrument and flight details, methods of charge identification employed, preliminary results from the SuperTIGER-1 balloon flight, and a summary of the recovery will be presented. The SuperTIGER-1 measurements will be discussed in the context of their stringent tests of the OB association model for the origin of galactic cosmic rays. Finally, planned improvements to the SuperTIGER instrument and future flight plans will be described. Treatment of the data depends somewhat on Z and details of the data analysis and results in ranges 10 ≤ Z ≤ 29 and 30 ≤ Z ≤ 40 are given in other talks at this conference. SuperTIGER was developed by Washington University in St. Louis, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the University of Minnesota.

Additional Information

Copyright owned by the author(s) under the term of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. The SuperTIGER program is supported by NASA. We wish to thank the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) personnel and the Wallops Balloon Program Office (BPO) for their excellent efforts that resulted in our highly successful long-duration balloon flight. We also wish to thank the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs for their outstanding logistical support which made this investigation possible.

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