2016-2017 USAP Field Season
The Boron And Carbon Cosmic rays in the Upper Stratosphere (BACCUS)
Dr. Eun-Suk Seo
University of Maryland
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
In order to test models of cosmic ray acceleration and propagation, the Boron And Carbon Cosmic rays in the Upper Stratosphere (BACCUS) project will investigate high-energy cosmic-ray nuclei arriving at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere. BACCUS will extend direct measurements of cosmic-ray composition to energies capable of generating gigantic air showers in the atmosphere, which have previously been observed in significant numbers only with large ground-based arrays. By directly measuring the elemental spectra of cosmic-ray nuclei from Li to Fe over the energy range about 10^12 to 10^15 electron-Volts, and comparing the results to those predicted by various models, e.g., supernova remnant shock acceleration, re-acceleration, etc., researchers are able to verify if the expected features in the single-element spectra are indeed found in nature. Measurements of the energy dependence of some different element ratios (mostly focusing on the Boron and Carbon ratio) provide information about the source, acceleration mechanism, and propagation history of these particles over an approximately 10-million-year journey through the cosmos from their acceleration site to the Earth.
Field Season Overview
Field team members will be housed at McMurdo Station and transported daily to and from the balloon launch site at the Long Duration Balloon Facility (LDB) located near Williams Field. Following a successful flight, they hope to recover the science instrument payload.
Deploying Team Members