Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik
Abteilung AstronomieSand 1, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
Since their discovery in the early twentieth century, Cosmic Rays (CR) have been a fruitful source of knowledge for particle physics. Before the advent of the modern area of accelerators, CRs provided experimentalists with an "observational window" to energies beyond what was attainable in the laboratory. A hundred years afterwards, despite enormous advances in the understanding of particle physics thanks to sophisticated accelerators, our current technology is incapable of experimentally studying particles with the energies observed in the most energetic CR events. These particles are the highest energetic particles ever recorded, with energies exceeding 5x 1019 eV. They constitute the Extreme Energy Cosmic Rays (EECR) The study of EECRs is the aim of the JEM-EUSO mission, the Extreme Universe Space Observatory on board the Japanese Experimental Module. The discovery and analysis of the source(s) of EECR is the main objective of this space borne observatory. The rather low flux of EECR particles requires in fact an enormous observation area. To increase statistics we are obliged to enlarge the observed area that current observatories are monitoring. This can only be achieved by monitoring from space the Earth's atmosphere. In this thesis I present simulation studies of the JEM-EUSO mission in various configurations. The key goal is the study of the expected performance of the mission. Within the EUSO Simulation and Analysis Framework ESAF, I first developed a technique (and the corresponding module) to separate background from signal, improving pattern recognition. This tool is a precondition for a highly performant angular and energy reconstruction. Second, I developed a module that allows the usage of a hybrid extensive air shower (EAS) generator (CONEX) to provide the capability of studying different primaries. I have explored the performance of the mission for the angular and energy reconstruction of protons, iron nuclei and photon primaries, inducing extended showers in the atmosphere. In addition I have conducted a careful study of the performance of the detector for neutrino induced EAS, obtaining for the first time ever exposures of the mission for observations of neutrinos. Finally, I have introduced a set of statistical tests to be applied to the experimental data of the precursor of the JEM-EUSO experiment: the EUSO-Balloon.
Key words: Astronomy, Neutrino astronomy, Cosmic Rays, UHECR
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Last modified 10 Jan 2019