We have developed an electron-tracking Compton camera (ETCC) for use in next generation MeV gamma ray telescopes. An ETCC consists of a gaseous time projection chamber (TPC) and pixel scintillator arrays (PSAs). Since the TPC measures the three dimensional tracks of Compton-recoil electrons, the ETCC can completely reconstruct the incident gamma rays. Moreover, the ETCC demonstrates efficient background rejection power in Compton-kinematics tests, identifies particle from the energy deposit rate (dE/dX) registered in the TPC, and provides high quality imaging by completely reconstructing the Compton scattering process. We are planning the "Sub-MeV gamma ray Imaging Loaded-on-balloon Experiment" (SMILE) for our proposed all-sky survey satellite. Performance tests of a mid-sized (30 cm)3 ETCC, constructed for observing the Crab nebula, are ongoing. However, observations at balloon altitudes or satellite orbits are obstructed by radiation background from the atmosphere and the detector itself . The background rejection power was checked using proton accelerator experiments conducted at the Research Center for Nuclear Physics, Osaka University. To create the intense radiation fields encountered in space, which comprise gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other energetic entities, we irradiated a water target with a 140MeV proton beam and placed a SMILE-II ETCC near the target. In this situation, the counting rate was five times than that expected at the balloon altitude. Nonetheless, the ETCC stably operated and identified particles sufficiently to obtain a clear gamma ray image of the checking source. Here, we report the performance of our detector and demonstrate its effective background rejection based in electron tracking experiments.
- Compton imaging
- Gamma telescopes
- Gaseous imaging and tracking detectors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mathematical Physics