The Orbiting Wide-angle Light collectors (OWL) Experiment:Observing Ultra-high Energy Cosmic Rays from Space
Suggested by John Linsley, a space-based experiment measuring the ultra-high energy (E > 1019 eV) component of the cosmic radiation enables an extremely large event acceptance aperture and thus allows a high statistics measurement of these rare events. The design of such a space-based mission has been extensively studied at GSFC and other institutions. The Orbiting Wide-angle Light collectors (OWL) Experiment promises to perform such measurements by imaging the air fluorescence signal from giant airshowers induced by ultra-high energy cosmic rays. In this talk, I will describe the OWL instruments and discuss the underlying physics and detector simulations used to quantify the capability of OWL to measure ultra-high energy cosmic rays. The potential for using OWL to measure high-energy neutrinos will also be discussed.