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CREAM Mission Overview

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CREAM Members The Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass (CREAM) experiment was designed and constructed to measure cosmic ray elemental spectra using a series of ultra long duration balloon (ULDB) flights. The goal is to extend direct measurement of cosmic-ray composition to the energies capable of generating gigantic air showers which have been mainly observed on the ground, thereby providing calibration for indirect measurements. The instrument has redundant and complementary charge identification and energy measurement systems capable of precise measurements of elemental spectra for Z = 1 - 26 nuclei over the energy range ~1011 to 1015 eV. Precise measurements of the energy dependance of elemetal spectra at the highest of these energies, where the rigidity-dependant supernova acceleration limit could be reflected in a composition change, provide a key to understanding cosmic ray acceleration and propogation. The instrument includes a Timing Charge Detector (TCD), a Cherenkov Detector (CD), a Transition Radiation Detector (TRD), a Cherenkov Camera (CherCam), a Silicon Charge Detector (SCD), scintillating fiber hodoscopes, and a tungsten-scintillating fiber calorimeter.

The CREAM mission has had five successful flights: (1) 12/16/04 – 1/27/05, (2) 12/16/05 – 1/13/06, (3) 12/19/07 – 1/17/08, (4) 12/19/08 – 1/7/09, and (5) 12/1/09 – 1/8/10, and (6) 12/20/2010 – 12/26/2010 respectively called CREAM-I, -II, -III, -IV, -V, and -VI. A 40 million cubic foot (1.1 million cubic meter) balloon carried each payload to its float altitude between ~38 and ~40 km, with an average atmospheric overburden of ~3.9 g/cm2. A cumulative exposure of ~162 days has been achieved.

Examples of current results are given below:


Last Updated on Thursday, 08 September 2011 13:38

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CREAM VI Flight Trajectory

Click the map below to see the CREAM VI flight trajectory.

CREAM VI flight trajectory

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