The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) is a new approach to the indirect detection of dark matter. It relies on searching for primary antideuterons produced in the annihilation of dark matter in the galactic halo. Low energy antideuterons produced through Standard Model processes, such as collisions of cosmic-rays with interstellar baryons, are greatly suppressed compared to primary antideuterons. Thus a low energy antideuteron search provides a clean signature of dark matter. In GAPS antiparticles are slowed down and captured in target atoms. The resultant exotic atom deexcites with the emission of X-rays and annihilation pions, protons and other particles. A tracking geometry allows for the detection of the X-rays and particles, providing a unique signature to identify the mass of the antiparticle. A prototype detector was successfully tested at the KEK accelerator in 2005, and a prototype GAPS balloon flight is scheduled for 2011. This will be followed by a full scale experiment on a long duration balloon from Antarctica in 2014. We discuss the status and future plans for GAPS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Atmospheric Science
- Space and Planetary Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)