Scientific Objectives

Pamela as a Space Observatory at 1AU 

The Pamela mission is devoted to the investigation of dark matter, the baryon asymmetry in the Universe, cosmic ray generation and propagation in our Galaxy and Solar System, and studies of solar modulation and the interaction of cosmic rays with the Earth's magnetosphere.

The primary scientific goal is the study of the antimatter component of the cosmic radiation, in order:

  • to search for evidence of annihilations of dark matter particles (e.g. non-hadronic particles outside the Standard Model) by precisely measuring antiproton and positron energy spectra;
  • to search for antinuclei, in particular antihelium;
  • to test cosmic-ray propagation models through precise measurements of the antiparticle energy spectrum and precision studies of light nuclei and their isotopes.

Concomitant goals include:

  • a study of solar physics and solar modulation during the 23th solar minimum toward the maximum of the ongoing 24th solar cycle, by investigating low energy particles in the cosmic radiation;
  • reconstructing the cosmic ray electron energy spectrum up to several TeV thereby allowing a possible contribution from local sources to be studied.