Gamma and Cosmic Ray Astrophysics

 

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Mission Statement

Branch Organization

Major Projects

Annihilation Fountan Images

Recent Papers and Presentations

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The following is not a complete list of Branch projects. The Home Page for each section listed above contains (or will contain) information on all projects undertaken by that Section. 

  OSSE (7651) 

The Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment (OSSE) undertakes a broad observational program of astronomical sources for gamma radiation in the 50 keV to 10 MeV energy range. These observations are pursued to understand the fundamental physical processes which occur in these most energetic objects in the universe. These include energetic solar flare activity which has deleterious effects on communication and navigation systems, high energy processes occurring in compact sources in our galaxy such as pulsars, neutron stars, and black holes, explosive phenomena such as supernovae, novae, and gamma ray bursts, and the central regions of active galactic nuclei, which are the most energetic sources in the universe. 

Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) (7652) 

HIIS (7654) 

NRL's Heavy Ions in Space (HIIS) experiment is one of the largest cosmic ray experiments flown in space. HIIS was exposed in space for nearly six years (from 7 April 1984 until 12 January 1990) aboard NASA's Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) in a 28.5 degree orbit at a mean altitude of 476 km. HIIS used large, thick stacks of plastic track detectors to record the passage of cosmic-ray nuclei. HIIS's large geometry factor (2.0 m^2-sr) and its extended space exposure enabled HIIS to study rare energetic particles of Galactic, solar, and magnetospheric origin. 

Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) 

Detector Development (7651) 

Technologies for the next generation of gamma ray instruments are now under development.  Our activities include testing of germanium strip detectors, position sensitive photomultiplier tubes, and custom CMOS electronics for applications in space, DoD, DOE, and medicine.