A next-generation ground array for the detection of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays: the Fluorescence detector Array of Single-pixel Telescopes (FAST)
Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan
2 Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
3 Department of Physics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, S.A., Australia
4 Palacky University, RCPTM, Olomouc, Czech Republic
5 Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic
6 High Energy Astrophysics Institute and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
* e-mail: email@example.com, Now at the Hakubi Center for Advanced Research and Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University
Published online: 17 May 2019
The origin and nature of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) is one of the most intriguing and important mysteries in astroparticle physics. The two largest observatories currently in operation, the Telescope Array Experiment in central Utah, USA, and the Pierre Auger Observatory in western Argentina, have been steadily observing UHECRs in both hemispheres for over a decade. We highlight the latest results from both of these experiments, and address the requirements for a next-generation UHECR observatory. The Fluorescence detector Array of Single-pixel Telescopes (FAST) is a design concept for a next-generation UHECR observa-tory, addressing the requirements for a large-area, low-cost detector suitable for measuring the properties of the highest energy cosmic rays with an unprecedented aperture. We have developed a full-scale prototype consisting of four 200 mm photomultiplier-tubes at the focus of a segmented mirror of 1.6 m in diameter. Over the last three years, we installed three such prototypes at the Black Rock Mesa site of the Telescope Array Experiment. These telescopes have been steadily taking data since installation. We report on preliminary results of the full-scale FAST prototypes, including measurements of distant ultraviolet lasers and UHECRs. Futhermore, we discuss our plan to install an additional identical FAST prototype at the Pierre Auger Observatory. Possible benefits to the Telescope Array and the Pierre Auger Observatory include a comparison of the transparency of the atmosphere above both experiments, a study of the systematic uncertainty associated with their existing fluorescence detectors, and a cross-calibration of their energy and Xmax scales.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
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