Dark Matter Particle Explorer

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Dark Matter Particle Explorer
(DAMPE)
NamesWukong,[1] TanSuo[2]
Mission typeHigh-energy Astronomy
OperatorCAS
COSPAR ID2015-078A[3]
SATCAT no.41173
Mission duration3 years (planned)[4]
Elapsed: 3 years, 3 months, 7 days
Spacecraft properties
Payload mass1,400 kg (3,100 lb)[4]
Power400 W [4]
Start of mission
Launch date17 December 2015 00:12 UTC
RocketLong March 2D, No. 2D-Y31[5]
Launch siteJiuquan Launch Area 4, Launch Pad 603[4]
ContractorSAST
Orbital parameters
Reference systemSun-synchronous orbit
Periapsis500 km (310 mi) [4]
Inclination97.4°
Main Gamma rays
Wavelengthshigh 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).

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]

Naming[edit]

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]

The English name, DAMPE, was a backronym, which was named after a NPC in The Legend of Zelda, Dampé (ダンペイ).[13] In the game, player need Dampé to find the treasure, which match with the mission of DAMPE (not finding dark matter, but finding the evidence that dark matter exist).

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:1206.2241. Bibcode:2012PhLB..715...35L. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2012.07.057.
  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; Gao, Shanshan; Zhang, Deliang; Jiang, Di; Liu, Shubin; An, Qi (2015). "Study on FPGA SEU Mitigation for the Readout Electronics of DAMPE BGO Calorimeter in Space". IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science. 62 (3): 1010. arXiv:1406.3928. Bibcode:2015ITNS...62.1010S. doi:10.1109/TNS.2015.2427293.
  12. ^ "First finding of China's DAMPE may shed light on dark matter research".
  13. ^ "悟空卫星英文名DAMPE竟源自《塞尔达传说》".