The science program of PAN is rich and multidisciplinary, covering cosmic ray physics, solar physics, space weather and space travel. PAN will fill an observation gap of galactic cosmic rays in the GeV/nucleon region, which is crucial for improving our still limited understanding of the origin of cosmic rays, and their propagation through the Galaxy and the Solar system. It will provide precise information of the spectrum, composition and timing of energetic particle originated from the Sun, which is essential for studying the physical process of solar activities, in particular the rare but violent solar events that produce intensive flux of penetrating particles. The precise measurement and monitoring of the energetic particles is also a unique contribution to space weather studies, in particular to the development of a predictive solar activity model in a multi-wavelength and multi-messenger approach, using observations both space and ground based. As indicated by the terminology, penetrating particles cannot be shielded effectively. PAN can map the flux and composition of these particles precisely and continuously, providing valuable input for the assessment of the related health risk, and the development of an adequate mitigation strategy. PAN has the potential to become a standard on-board instrument for deep space human travel. PAN is based on the proven detection principle of a magnetic spectrometer, but with novel layout concept. It will adopt advanced particle detection technologies and industrial processes optimally for deep space application. The device will require limited mass (~20 kg) and power (~20 W) budget.
Project leader: Dirk Meier
Institution: INTEGRATED DETECTOR ELECTRONICS AS