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The DAMPE Collaboration

DAMPE (DArk Matter Particle Explore) is one of the five satellite missions in the framework of the Strategic Pioneer Research Program in Space Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), with a launch date planned to be in 2015-2016.

DAMPE is a powerful space telescope for high energy gamma-ray, electron and cosmic rays detection. It consists of a double layer of plastic scintillator strips detector (PSD) that serves as anti-coincidence detetor, followed by silicon-tungsten tracker-converter (STK), which is made of 6 tracking double layers; each consists of two layers of single-sided silicon strip detectors measuring the two orthogonal views perpendicular to the pointing direction of the apparatus. Three layers of Tungsten plates with thickness of 1mm, 2mm and 2mm are inserted in front of tracking layer 2, 3 and 4 for photon conversion. The STK is followed by an imaging calorimeter of about 31 radiation lengths thickness, made up of 14 layers of BGO bars in a hodoscopic arrangement. A layer of neutron detectors is added to the bottom of the calorimeter. The total thickness of the BGO calorimeter and the STK correspond to about 33 radiation lengths, making it the deepest calorimeter ever used in space.

The main scientific objective of DAMPE is to measure electrons and photons with much higher energy resolution and energy reach than achievable with existing space experiments in order to identify possible Dark Matter signatures. It has also great potential in advancing the understanding of the origin and propagation mechanism of high energy cosmic rays, as well as in new discoveries in high energy gamma astronomy.
DAMPE will have unprecedented sensitivity and energy reach for electrons, photons and cosmic rays (proton and heavy ions). For electrons and photons, the detection range is 5 GeV – 10 TeV, with an energy resolution of about 1% at 800 GeV. For cosmic rays, the detection range is 100 GeV – 100 TeV, with an energy resolution better than 40% at 800 GeV. The geometrical factor is about 0.3 m 2 sr for electrons and photons, and about 0.2 m2 sr for cosmic rays. The angular resolution is 0.1° at 100 GeV.