A scouting mission for the JEM-EUSO mission

EUSO-Ballon is a prototype of the future UV telescope for the detection of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays aboard the International Space Station (ISS): JEM-EUSO. The JEM-EUSO collaboration carried out a complete subset of the focal plane of the experiment between 2012 and 2014 (consisting of 36 64-channel multi-anode photomultipliers, 36 ASICs, FPGA board, Telemetry, etc.) - a scientific set to validate the different technologies envisaged and, more generally, to validate the entire chain of detection of the future mission, from the detector to the data storage, via electronics Processing, triggering process for event recording, electronics, mechanics, etc.


The EUSO-Ballon mission, funded by CNES, made it possible to carry out the first technological flight of the instrument on board a stratospheric balloon during the night of 24 to 25 August 2014. This flight, which was a great success for The APC, which assumed the direction of the project, validated the concept of measurement, the determination of the UV signal from the ground (which will represent a background noise for the observation of cosmic sheaves) Simulated events (xenon flashes and laser shots across the field of view).

After the success of this first flight, the EUSO-Ballon mission aims at the first UV detection of a giant atmospheric jet from the sky, which should occur during a second long-term flight from New Zealand. March 2017, under the aegis of NASA.

The APC laboratory is responsible for the overall project management of the EUSO-Ballon instrument, the calibration of the photomultipliers, the integration and testing of the high-voltage modules and, together with the LAL, the integration of the detector.


List of APC staff involved 

Engineers/Technicians/Administrative officers

  • PRÉVÔT Guillaume, global project manager EUSO-Ballon
  • BLEURVACQ Nathan, mechanical detector
  • DHEILLY Stéphane, mecanical workshop
  • FRAISSE Eric, administrative officer
  • JUFFROY Corinne, product insurance
  • MONIER Guy, wiring and design test cards
  • PRAT Pierre, electronic system engineer
  • SELMANE Sahbi, electronics tests

PhD candidates

  • BACHOLLE Simon
  • JUNG Aera


  • PARIZOT Etienne, PI JEM-EUSO France, PR
  • ALLARD Denis, CR
  • PATZAK Thomas, PR
  • SEMIKOZ Dmitri, DR

In France, the teams of three other laboratories are also involved: those of IRAP (INSU) as PI of the balloon and responsible for the mechanical structure and mechanical integration of the instrument, LAL (IN2P3) as responsible for the Tests and integration of the detector and finally those of Omega (IN2P3) as designer of the ASIC.

Around 10 teams contribute to the project: INFN Napoli (CPU data processing, clock, GPS, data storage), UNAM Mexico (telemetry and LVPS), RIKEN Japan (filters and lenses of Fresnel), NCBJ Poland (HVPS and switches), IAAT Germany (FPGA second trigger level), INFN Bari and INFN Tor Vergata (software and acquisition), Univ. Alcala (Infra-red camera).


The JEM-EUSO mission

JEM-EUSO (Space Observatory of the Extreme Universe aboard the Module of Japanese Experiments) is a new type of astronomical observatory aboard the ISS, designed to elucidate the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, recognized as one of the eleven priority scientific questions of the twenty-first century. It is the result of a collaboration of 85 institutes from 16 different countries.

The JEM-EUSO experiment aims at detecting fluorescence light emitted in the UV in the Earth's atmosphere, following the development of a sheaf of particles induced by the interaction of a cosmic ray of extreme energy, greater than 3 1019 eV. Because the telescope is located on the ISS at an altitude of 400 km, its angular aperture of ± 30 ° gives it a field of view of 460 km diameter at ground level, giving it a power of observation close to Ten times that of existing ground experiments..

The main scientific questions to be answered by JEM-EUSO are:

  • What are the astrophysical sources capable of accelerating particles to the literally macroscopic energies acquired by cosmic rays of ultra-high energy (up to several tens of joules!)?
  • What is the acceleration mechanism?
  • Is there a link between the sources of these cosmic rays and other sources already known in the universe, and what can these particles tell us about the physical mechanisms at work within them?
  • Can we use these cosmic rays of ultra-high energy as "new messengers" to probe the cosmos?



Main mission website: