Study of Terrestrial and Cosmic UV Emissions from the International Space Station with the Mini-EUSO Telescope

Abstract

Mini-EUSO is an imaging detector launched on the International Space Station on August 2019 with an unmanned Soyuz spacecraft. It is observing the Earth in a multispectral range comprising UV (300–400 nm), visible (400–780 nm) and NIR (1500–1600 nm). Mini-EUSO is accommodated on board the Russian Zvezda module, facing on a UV-transparent window in Nadir direction. The telescope main optics comprise two Fresnel lenses focusing light onto an array of 36 Hamamatsu multi-anode photomultiplier tubes, each of 64 channels for a total of 2304 pixels. In addition to the two ancillary cameras, Mini-EUSO contains an 8 × 8 array of Multi-Pixel Photon Counter SiPM. The Mini-EUSO main research objectives are the study of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays above 1021 eV and the search for Strange Quark Matter, even though, with its large field of view (44°), it will map an Earth ground area of 263 × 263 km2 every 2.5 µs, allowing to study several atmospheric event such as Transient Luminous Event (TLEs), meteoroids and marine bioluminescence.

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Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by Basic Science Interdisciplinary Research Projects of RIKEN and JSPS KAKENHI Grant (JP17H02905, JP16H02426 and JP16H16737), by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, by the Italian Space Agency through contract no. 2016-1-U.0 and ASI INFN agreement no. 2017-8-H.0 and by State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS and Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant 16-29-13065). We thank ASI and Roscosmos for the help and support of the mission.

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Correspondence to M. Casolino.

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Belov, A., Cambiè, G., Casolino, M. et al. Study of Terrestrial and Cosmic UV Emissions from the International Space Station with the Mini-EUSO Telescope. Aerotec. Missili Spaz. 99, 93–101 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42496-020-00047-1

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Keywords

  • UV telescope
  • JEM-EUSO
  • International space station
  • Cosmic rays