Development of electron tracking Compton camera for both balloon and future satellite experiments for MeV gamma-ray astronomy

Toru Tanimori, Masahiro Ikeno, Hidetoshi Kubo, Kentaro Miuchi, Shigeto Kabuki, Joseph D. Parker, Yuji Kishimoto, Shotaro Komura, Shunsuke Kurosawa, Satoru Iwaki, Tatsuya Sawano, Kiseki Nakamura, Yoshihiro Matsuoka, Tetsuya Mizumoto, Yasushi Sato, Manobu Tanaka, Atsushi Takada, Tomohisa Uchida, Kazuki Ueno

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In order to explore MeV gamma-ray astronomy, we have developed the Electron Tracking Compton Camera (ETCC) consisting of a Time projection Chamber based on the micro pixel gas counter and pixel array scintillators. By measuring the track of a recoil electron in the TPC event by event, the ETCC measures the direction of each gamma-ray, and provides both good background rejection and an angular resolution over ̃1 degree. A 1m-cubic size ETCC in satellite would be a good candidate for an All sky MeV gamma-ray survey of a wide band energy region of 0.1-100MeV with several ten times better sensitivity than COMPTEL. Already we carried out a balloon experiment with a small ETCC (Sub-MeV gamma ray Imaging Loaded-on-balloon Experiment: SMILE-I) in 2006, and measured diffuse cosmic and atmosphere gamma rays. We are now constructing a 30cm-cube ETCC to catch gamma-rays from the Crab and terrestrial gamma-ray bursts at the North Pole from 2013 (SMILE-II project). Terrestrial gamma-ray bursts are generated by relativistic electron precipitation in the Pole region. Recently performance of tracking a recoil electron has been dramatically improved, which may enable us to reach the ideal efficiency expected for the detector. In addition, we mention about the unique capability to find a high-z Gamma-Ray Bursts beyond z>10 by ETCC, in particular long duration GRBs over 1000 sec, which are expected to be due to POP-III stars.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012
Subtitle of host publicationUltraviolet to Gamma Ray
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2012 Jul 12012 Jul 6

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray


  • Balloon borne experiment
  • Compton camera
  • Gamma Ray Burst
  • Gamma-ray astronomy
  • Micro pixel gas detector
  • Relativistic Electron Precipitation
  • Scintillation detector
  • Time projection chamber


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