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Simulations for a next-generation UHECR observatory

Abstract : We explore the potential of a future, ultra-high energy cosmic ray (UHECR) experiment, that is able to overcome the limitation of low statistics, to detect anisotropy in the arrival directions of UHECRs. We concentrate on the lower energy range of future instruments (Egtrsim 50 EeV), where, if the UHECR source number density is not too low, the sources should be numerous enough to imprint a clustering pattern in the sky, and thus possibly in the UHECR arrival directions. Under these limits, the anisotropy signal should be dominated by the clustering of astrophysical sources per se in the large-scale structures, and not the clustering of events around individual sources. We study the potential for a statistical discrimination between different astrophysical models which we parametrise by the number density of UHECR sources, the possible bias of the UHECR accelerators with respect to the galaxy distribution, and the unknown fraction of UHECRs that have been deflected by large angles. We demonstrate that an order-of-magnitude increase in statistics would allow to discriminate between a variety of astrophysical models, provided that a sub-sample of light elements can be extracted, and that it represents a fraction gtrsim 70% of the overall flux, sensitive to the UHECR source number density. Discrimination should be possible even without knowledge of the composition of the UHECRs, as long as the data are proton-dominated. We find that an anisotropy at the 99.7% level should be detectable when the number of detected events exceeds 2000 beyond 50 EeV, as long as the composition is proton dominated, and the number density of UHECR sources is relatively high, bar n >= 10-3 Mpc-3. If the UHECR sources are strongly biased relative to the galaxy distribution, as are for example galaxy clusters, in which the sources might be embedded, an anisotropy at the 99.7% level should be detectable once the number of detected events exceeds 1000, if the fraction of protons at the highest energies is gtrsim 60%.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 2:03:48 PM
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Foteini Oikonomou, Kumiko Kotera, Filipe B. Abdalla. Simulations for a next-generation UHECR observatory. JOURNAL OF COSMOLOGY AND ASTROPARTICLE PHYSICS, 2015, 2015, ⟨10.1088/1475-7516/2015/01/030⟩. ⟨insu-03644789⟩

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