The Probe of Extreme Multi-Messenger Astrophysics Observatory (POEMMA) is a proposed NASA mission to measure ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and neutrinos from astrophysical sources.

Leading up to POEMMA is a series of ultra-long balloon flights called EUSO-SPB. Our group participates in EUSO-SPB2 and led the development of the instrument for the Cherenkov telescope.

The EUSO-SPB2 Cherenkov Telescope during field tests in Utah with the School of Mines and Georgia Tech groups and Jim Kuznetsov from the University of Huntsville, AL.

We had a short two day flight in early 2023 until the balloon splashed into the Pacific due to a leak. However, we collected enough data to show that our instrument worked as expected. With this pioneering experiment we could show for the first time that air-shower imaging works from sub-orbital altitudes. We are in the process of finalizing the data analysis searching for Earth-skimming neutrinos and characterizing cosmic-ray initiated particle-shower images we recorded while pointing the telescope above the Earth limb.

The EUSO-SPB2 balloon before launch in Wanaka, New Zealand in 2023.

Here is a video showing the launch of our balloon from Wanaka, New Zealand.