La Rivista del Nuovo Cimento

Year 2017 - Issue 10 - October

Ten years of PAMELA in space

Authors: PAMELA Collaboration - O. Adriani, G. C. Barbarino, G. A. Bazilevskaya, R. Bellotti, M. Boezio, E. A. Bogomolov, M. Bongi, V. Bonvicini, S. Bottai, A. Bruno, F. Cafagna, D. Campana, P. Carlson, M. Casolino, G. Castellini, C. De Santis, V. Di Felice, A. M. Galper, A. V. Karelin, S. V. Koldashov, S. Koldobskiy, S. Y. Krutkov, A. N. Kvashnin, A. Leonov, V. Malakhov, L. Marcelli, M. Martucci, A. G. Mayorov, W. Menn, M. Mergè, V. V. Mikhailov, E. Mocchiutti, A. Monaco, R. Munini, N. Mori, G. Osteria, B. Panico, P. Papini, M. Pearce, P. Picozza, M. Ricci, S. B. Ricciarini, M. Simon, R. Sparvoli, P. Spillantini, Y. I. Stozhkov, A. Vacchi, E. Vannuccini, G. Vasilyev, S. A. Voronov, Y. T. Yurkin, G. Zampa, N. Zampa
DOI: 10.1393/ncr/i2017-10140-x
pp. 473-522
Published online 27 September 2017
Download fulltext

Abstract: The PAMELA cosmic-ray detector was launched on June 15th 2006 on board the Russian Resurs-DK1 satellite, and during ten years of nearly continuous data-taking it has observed new interesting features in cosmic rays (CRs). In a decade of operation it has provided plenty of scientific data, covering different issues related to cosmic-ray physics. Its discoveries might change our basic vision of the mechanisms of production, acceleration and propagation of cosmic rays in the Galaxy. The antimatter measurements, focus of the experiment, have set strong constraints to the nature of Dark Matter. Search for signatures of more exotic processes (such as the ones involving Strange Quark Matter) was also pursued. Furthermore, the long-term operation of the instrument had allowed a constant monitoring of the solar activity during its maximum and a detailed and prolonged study of the solar modulation, improving the comprehension of the heliosphere mechanisms. PAMELA had also measured the radiation environment around the Earth, and it detected for the first time the presence of an antiproton radiation belt surrounding our planet. The operation of Resurs-DK1 was terminated in 2016. In this article we will review the main features of the PAMELA instrument and its constructing phases. The main part of the article will be dedicated to the summary of the most relevant PAMELA results over a decade of observation.