Malek Mastafa

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Physics and Astronomy

Committee Chair

Massimiliano Bonamente

Committee Member

James H. Adams, Jr.

Committee Member

Richard Lieu

Committee Member

John Matthews

Committee Member

James A. Miller


Cosmic rays--Measurement, Astrophysics


The most energetic particles in the universe are ultra high energy cosmic rays UHECRs with energies up to 3×10^20 eV eV. However, their flux is strongly suppressed at the highest energies (~1 particles /〖km〗^2 /century for E = 10^19.75 eV), leaving the sources and the acceleration mechanisms unknown. The detection of UHECRs from space via fluorescence method is very compelling because of the large area that can be observed. The Extreme Universe Space Observatory on a Super Pressure Balloon (EUSO-SPB) collaboration is developing and flying balloon-brone prototypes of a satellite instrument to make such observations. The EUSO-SPB1 instrument is the first of these to be flown on a super-pressure balloon. It was launched in Wanaka, New Zealand in April, 2017 as a mission of opportunity payload. The detector was developed as part of the Joint Experimental Missions for the Extreme Universe Space Observatory (JEM-EUSO) program. The main objective of EUSO-SPB1 is to test an instrument designed to observe UHECRs and to make the first observation of UHECRs using the fluorescence technique from suborbital space. The instrument is a refractive telescope that consists of two 1 m^2 Fresnel lenses and a high speed UV focal surface. The focal surface has 48×48 individual pixels capable of single photoelectron counting with temporal resolution of 2.5 μs. An end-to-end test of the instrument was performed during a field campaign in the Utah desert on the Telescope Array (TA) site near Delta, Utah, USA in September 2016. In this thesis the results of the flat-field and the photometric calibration measurements are presented. Based on these measurements, it was determined that EUSO-SPB1 has a calibration factor of 12.04 photo/photoelectron.



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