Extension of the dynamic range of large photocathode PMTs for a UHECR detector
INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino and INFN – Sezione di Torino, Corso Fiume 4, 10133 Torino, Italy
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Ground arrays for UHECR shower detection based on traditional counters, water Cerenkov tanks or scintillator modules, are unavoidably limited by the saturation suffered by the counters nearest to the shower axis. Reducing to a negligible level the amount of events recorded with saturated counters should be mandatory in a future UHECR ground array. The use of the signals extracted from the internal dynodes of the used photomultipliers can offer an elegant and inexpensive way to increase the dynamic range of such detectors. The viability of this technique has been explored studying in laboratory the performances of a sample of 3 Hamamatsu R5912-MOD photomultipliers. Exploiting the signal from the fifth dynode, a linear response up to an equivalent anodic peak current larger than 1A (at gain G = 2 ⋅ 105) has been measured for all the studied PMTs. The feasibility of this technique in the frame of a new ground array for UHECR studies should be verified with a larger sample of photomultipliers.
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