The CSES/Limadou experiment

CSES/LIMADOU is a scientific payload for the Chinese Seismological Experiment Satellite (CSES). INFN and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) participate in the project of the Chinese Earthquake Administration (CEA).

CSES mission will study the ionospheric perturbations possibly associated with earthquakes – especially with destructive ones – and explore new approaches for short-term and imminent forecast, as well as will help find a new way for theoretical studies on the mechanism of earthquake preparation processes. 
The program will make use of new techniques and equipments, in order to obtain world-wide data of space environment of the electromagnetic field, plasma and energetic particles. 

The satellite is based on the Chinese CAST2000 platform. It is a 3-axis attitude stabilized and will be placed in a 98° Sun-syncronous circular orbit at an altitude of 500 km in September 2016. CSES satellite was launched on the 2nd February 2018  and inserted into a circular Sun-syncronous orbit with 98 degrees inclination and 500 km altitude. Expected lifetime is 5 years. 

CSES hosts several instruments onboard:  2 magnetometers, an electrical field detector, a plasma analyzer, a Langmiur probe and a High Energy Particle Detector (HEPD). A memorandum of understanding between the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) concerning cooperation on the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES) has been signed on September 25, 2013. The INFN groups are developing prototypes of the Electric Field Detector (EFD) and of the High Energy Particle Detector (HEPD). 

The  HEPD consists of two layers of  plastic scintillators for the trigger, and a calorimeter constituted by a tower of plastic scintillator counters and a LYSO plane.  The direction of the incident particle is provided by two planes of double-side silicon microstrip detectors placed in front of the trigger.

HEPD detector will measure electrons (3 – 100 MeV) and protons (30 – 300 MeV) along CSES orbit.  The angular and energy resolution and the detector acceptance are optimized to accurately detect the expected low short-term time variations of the particle flux from the radiation belts.