The scientific experiment, led by the University of Coimbra, will go into space in 2024 on the Space Rider, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) first reusable vehicle.
In a statement, the University of Coimbra (UC) revealed that the scientific experiment chosen for space is called TGF Monitor, a pixelated cadmium telluride (CdTe) gamma ray detection system with polarimetric properties that “opens up new technological and scientific horizons”.
The team for this scientific experiment is coordinated by Professor Rui Curado Silva of the Department of Physics at the University of Coimbra and involves the Laboratory of Instrumentation and Experimental Particle Physics (LIP) at the University of Beira Interior (UBI). and Active Space Technologies (Coimbra) and Advacam (Prague, Czech Republic).
According to Rui Curado Silva, the “TGF Monitor” experience, if successful, will contribute to the consolidation of “CdTe detectors” as technologies ranging from astrophysics to flight safety and to new scientific measurements, in particular those related to flashes terrestrial gamma radiation (TGF).
“TGFs are emitted by cumulonimbus clouds (clouds whose vertical evolution is associated with thunderstorm systems) and are a concern for the health and safety of aircraft crew and passengers,” he explained.
This experience covers several topics, such as the effects of orbital radiation on CdTe detectors, which “can be used as a level of observation for high-energy astrophysics telescopes; detection of gamma emissions, namely crab fog, , can help answer open questions about the physical processes that produce TGF. “
Experience also includes monitoring of TGF emissions and evaluating the potential of pixelated CdTe detectors as TGF monitors in aircraft.
“Using it as an alarm and characterizing the magnitude of emissions could be a valuable contribution to flight safety,” stressed the UC researcher and professor.
THE Space Rider will be launched from Kourous (French Guiana) in 2024 with a Veja rocket and will spend two months in the low orbit of the equator. installed Space RiderThe TGF Monitor test is “exposed to a space radiation environment.”
“It points to space, which allows gamma radiation to be recorded, for example from crab mist, and also to the ground by storing TGF,” Rui Curado Silva said. At the end of the task Space Rider lands at Kourou or Santa Maria Island Airport in the Azores, and then the experience is collected and analyzed.