Discrimination of ultra high energy cosmic rays with the extreme universe space observatory

  1. Guadalupe Sáez Cano
Supervised by:
  1. Dolores Rodríguez Frías Director
  2. Luis del Peral Gochicoa Director

Defence university: Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Year of defence: 2015

  1. Elisa de Castro Rubio Chair
  2. Juan Abel Barrio Uña Secretary
  3. Thomas Cantzon Paul Committee member
  4. Carlos Muñoz López Committee member
  5. Andrii Neronov Committee member

Type: Thesis


This thesis is framed in the study of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) by space-based telescopes such as the Extreme Universe Space Observatory (EUSO) that will be place on the International Space Station (ISS). After a brief summary of the main features of UHECRs in chapter 2, a description of the JEM-EUSO experiment has been carried out in chapter 3. In the following chapters, which are focused on my work, it has been studied how different clouds might affect the development of the Extensive Air Shower (EAS) produced in the atmosphere by UHECRs and detected from space. This effect depends not only on the optical depth and on the altitude of the cloud, but also on some properties of the EAS (such as the arrival direction or the primary energy). In chapter 4 we have investigated how the EAS signal looks like depending on the part of the Field of View (FoV) where it is produced, analyzing the difference in the number of detected photons or in the duration of the shower development in the atmosphere. In chapter 5, a trigger efficiency in cloudy conditions, called cloud efficiency, has been calculated considering the maximum development visibility requirement. This is, the maximum of the shower must be visible. We have estimated how the shower geometry and the primary particle energy are modified by the cloud in comparison with the same case in a clear atmosphere. Also, a three dimensional photon propagation module has been developed to include a more complete model of the atmosphere for a deeper shower study. In chapter 6, the two methods to reconstruct the primary energy of the UHECR and the shower maximum of the EAS in a clear atmosphere have been modified to be used in stratus-like clouds: the Cherenkov method, that relies on the determination of the Cherenkov reflected bump on the top of the cloud, and the slant depth method, which relies on the previous geometry reconstruction of the shower.