Maximum-energy Auger (AIR)-shower satellite (MASS/AIRWATCH)

Yoshiyuki Takahashi, Russell A. Chipman, John O. Dimmock, Lloyd W. Hillmann, David J. Lamb, Thomas M. Leslie, Jeffrey J. Weimer, Mark J. Christl, Gerald J. Fishman, Thomas A. Parnell, Louis M. Barbier, Kevin Boyce, Eric R. Christian, John F. Krizmanic, John W. Mitchell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


A concept for observation from space of the highest energy cosmic rays above 10 20 eV with a satellite-borne observatory has been considered. A maximum-energy auger (air)-shower satellite (MASS) would use segmented lenses (and/or mirrors) and an array of imaging devices (about 10 6 pixels) to detect and record fluorescent light profiles of cosmic ray cascades in the atmosphere. The field-of-view of MASS could be extended to about (1000 km) 2 so that more than 10 3 events per year could be observed above 10 20 eV. From far above the atmosphere, MASS would be capable of observing events at all angles including near horizontal tracks, and would have considerable aperture for high energy photon and neutrino observation. With a large aperture and the spatial and temporal resolution, MASS could determine the energy spectrum, the mass composition, and arrival anisotropy of cosmic rays from 10 20 eV to 10 22 eV, a region hitherto not explored by ground-based detectors such as the fly's eye and air-shower arrays. MASS's ability to identify comic neutrinos and gamma rays may help providing evidence for the theory which attributes the above cut-off cosmic ray flux to the decay of topological defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsBrian D. Ramsey, Thomas A. Parnell
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 1996
EventGamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Detectors, Techniques, and Missions - Denver, CO, USA
Duration: Aug 5 1996Aug 7 1996

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


OtherGamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Detectors, Techniques, and Missions
CityDenver, CO, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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