The High-Energy Antimatter Telescope (HEAT): An instrument for the study of cosmic-ray positrons

S. W. Barwick, J. J. Beatty, C. R. Bower, C. Chaput, S. Coutu, G. De Nolfo, D. Ellithorpe, D. Ficenec, J. Knapp, D. M. Lowder, S. McKee, D. Müller, J. A. Musser, S. L. Nutter, E. Schneider, S. P. Swordy, K. K. Tang, G. Tarlé, A. D. Tomasch, E. Torbet

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40 Scopus citations


The HEAT (High-Energy Antimatter Telescope) instrument has been developed for a series of observations in cosmic-ray astrophysics that require the use of a superconducting magnet spectrometer. This paper describes the first configuration of HEAT which is optimized for the detection of cosmic-ray electrons and positrons below 100 GeV. In addition to the spectrometer, a combination of time-of-flight scintillators, a transition radiation detector, and an electromagnetic shower counter, provides particle identification, energy measurement, and powerful discrimination against the large background of protons. The instrument was successfully flown aboard high-altitude balloons in 1994 and 1995. The design and construction of the spectrometer and of the detector systems are described, and the performance of the instrument is demonstrated with data obtained in flight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-52
Number of pages19
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 21 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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