University of Torino, Italy
Search for Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays from Space: challenges and perspectives
The origin and nature of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) remain unsolved in contemporary astroparticle physics. To give an answer to these questions is rather challenging because of the extremely low flux of a few per km^2 per century at extreme energies (i.e. E > 5x10^19eV). A super-wide-field telescope looking down from space onto the night sky to detect UV photons emitted by Extensive Air Showers (EAS) generated by UHECRs in the atmosphere might provide an effective solution to this difficulty. However, such a measurement has to deal with several challenges compared to a ground-based observation. During this seminar a review of the main open points in UHECR science, the observational techniques employed to detect EAS and of the challenges and methodology of their observation from space will be reviewed. The JEM-EUSO program will be used as a case study to learn how to move from a conceptual study to a real mission by means of different technological achievements from ground, on stratospheric balloons and from space.