Dark Matter Particle Explorer

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Dark Matter Particle Explorer
(DAMPE)
Names Wukong,[1] TanSuo[2]
Mission type High-energy Astronomy
Operator CAS
COSPAR ID 2015-078A[3]
SATCAT no. 41173
Mission duration 3 years (planned)[4]
Elapsed: 2 years, 6 months, 3 days
Spacecraft properties
Payload mass 1,400 kg (3,100 lb)[4]
Power 400 W [4]
Start of mission
Launch date 17 December 2015 00:12 UTC
Rocket Long March 2D, No. 2D-Y31[5]
Launch site Jiuquan Launch Area 4, Launch Pad 603[4]
Contractor SAST
Orbital parameters
Reference system Sun-synchronous orbit
Periapsis 500 km (310 mi) [4]
Inclination 97.4°
Main Gamma rays
Wavelengths high energy gamma ray

The Dark Matter Particle Explorer, or DAMPE (also known as Wukong), is a Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) satellite which launched on 17 December 2015.[4] The satellite was launched on a Long March 2D rocket from Launch Pad 603 at the LC-43 complex, also known as the South Launch Site, at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.[4] It is China's first ever space observatory.

DAMPE is a space telescope used for the detection of high energy gamma rays, electrons and cosmic ray ions, to aid in the search for dark matter.[4][6] It was designed to look for the indirect decay signal of a hypothetical dark matter candidate called weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs).[7]

The project is the result of a collaboration among research institutions and universities in Italy, Switzerland and China under the leadership of the Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The space observatory is nicknamed Wukong (Chinese: 悟空) after the Monkey King, who is the hero in the classic Chinese tale Journey to the West. Literally, "wu"(悟) means comprehension or understanding and "kong"(空)means void, so this name could also be understood as "understanding the void", relating to the undiscovered nature of dark matter.[1]

Objectives[edit]

The scientific objectives of the mission are:[4]

  • the search and study of dark matter particles by conducting high-resolution observations of high-energy electrons and gamma rays.
  • the study of the origin of cosmic rays by observing high energy electrons and heavy nuclei in the TeV energy range.
  • the study of the propagation and acceleration mechanisms of cosmic rays through the observation of high-energy gamma rays.

Collaboration[edit]

The project is the result of a collaboration among research institutions and universities in Italy, Switzerland and China under the leadership of the Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).[8] The DAMPE mission is funded by the strategic priority science and technology projects in space science of CAS.[9][10][11] The institutes that have been part of the collaboration are: IHEP (Institute of High Energy Physics), CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Beijing, China; IMO (Institute of Modern Physics), CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Lanzhou, China; NSSC (National Space Science Center), CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Beijing, China; PMO (Purple Mountain Observatory), CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Nanjing, China; USTC (University of Science and Technology of China), Hefei, China; INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) and University of Perugia, Italy; INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) and University of Bari, Italy; INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) and University of Lecce, Italy; DPNC (Département de physique nucléaire et corpusculaire), University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Results[edit]

First results were released in Nov 2017.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "China's new Monkey King set for journey into space". Xinhua. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Li, Ye; Yuan, Qiang (29 August 2012). "Testing the 130 GeV gamma-ray line with high energy resolution detectors". Physics Letters B. 715 (1–3): 35–37. arXiv:1206.2241Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012PhLB..715...35L. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2012.07.057. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "DAMPE (Wukong)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Barbosa, Rui C. (16 December 2015). "Chinese Long March 2D lofts DAMPE – A Dark Matter Investigator". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "CZ-2D (2) (Chang Zheng-2D (2))". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  6. ^ Nowakowski, Tomasz (2 June 2015). "China to launch its first dark matter probe by the end of 2015". Spaceflight Insider. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  7. ^ Normile, Dennis (29 November 2017). "China's dark matter space probe detects tantalizing signal". Science. Retrieved 19 March 2018. 
  8. ^ "DArk Matter Particle Explorer". Department of Nuclear and Corpuscular Physics, University of Geneva. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  9. ^ "First finding of China's DAMPE may shed light on dark matter research". Phys.org. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2018. 
  10. ^ Dickinson, David (18 December 2015). "China Launches Dark Matter Probe". Sky & Telescope. 
  11. ^ Shen, Zhongtao; Feng, Changqing; et al. (2015). "Study on FPGA SEU Mitigation for Readout Electronics of DAMPE BGO Calorimeter" (PDF). Nuclear Science. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  12. ^ https://phys.org/news/2017-11-china-dampe-dark.html