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Published August 2015 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Elemental Abundances of Ultra-Heavy GCRs measured by SuperTIGER and ACE-CRIS and the Origin of Galactic Cosmic Rays


The Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder (SuperTIGER) long-duration balloon instrument and the Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer (CRIS) on the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) satellite have measured the abundances of galactic cosmic-ray elements from _(10)Ne to _(40)Zr with high statistics and single-element resolution. SuperTIGER launched from Williams Field, McMurdo Station, Antarctica, on December 8, 2012, flying for a record 55 days. During that flight we detected ∼1,300 nuclei with atomic number Z ≥ 30. The resolution in charge (Z) of SuperTIGER is excellent, with σ_Z ≈ 0.16 c.u. at _(26)Fe. SuperTIGER is sensitive to nuclei with energy at the top of the atmosphere of E > 0.8 GeV/nucleon. The instrument has now been recovered and preparations are underway for its next flight. ACE/CRIS has been taking data in space for more than 17 years since launch in 1997, has collected ∼625 nuclei with atomic number Z ≥ 30, and shows excellent resolution with clear separation between the charges for 30 ≤ Z ≤ 40. ACE/CRIS is sensitive to nuclei in the energy range 150 ≤ E ≤ 600 MeV/nucleon. Preliminary results from the balloon-borne SuperTIGER show good agreement with ACE measurements in space, validating our corrections to SuperTIGER abundances for nuclear interactions in the atmosphere. The results from these experiments will be discussed in the context of the OB association model for the origin of galactic cosmic rays. Future missions to measure elemental abundances to higher Z, the SuperTIGER-II LDB instrument and the orbiting Heavy Nuclei eXplorer (HNX) mission, will also be discussed.

Additional Information

Copyright owned by the author(s) under the term of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. SuperTIGER is supported by NASA under the ROSES 2007 APRA program under grants NNX09AC17G to Washington University in St. Louis and NNX09AC18G to Caltech and JPL, and APRA07-0146 to NASA/GSFC. 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. The ACE data analysis is supported by NASA Grant NNX13AH66G.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023