Methods for the reconstruction of large scale anisotropies of the cosmic ray flux


In cosmic ray experiments the arrival directions, among other properties, of cosmic ray particles from detected air shower events are reconstructed. The question of uniformity in the distribution of arrival directions is of large importance for models that try to explain cosmic radiation. In this thesis, methods for the reconstruction of parameters of a dipole-like flux distribution of cosmic rays from a set of recorded air shower events are studied. Different methods are presented and examined by means of detailed Monte Carlo simulations. Particular focus is put on the implications of spurious experimental effects. Modifications of existing methods and new methods are proposed. The main goal of this thesis is the development of the horizontal Rayleigh analysis method. Unlike other methods, this method is based on the analysis of local viewing directions instead of global sidereal directions. As a result, the symmetries of the experimental setup can be better utilised. The calculation of the sky coverage (exposure function) is not necessary in this analysis. The performance of the method is tested by means of further Monte Carlo simulations. The new method performs similarly good or only marginally worse than established methods in case of ideal measurement conditions. However, the simulation of certain experimental effects can cause substantial misestimations of the dipole parameters by the established methods, whereas the new method produces no systematic deviations. The invulnerability to certain effects offers additional advantages, as certain data selection cuts become dispensable.
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