Li-Madou was the chinese name of Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), the Jesuit priest from Macerata (Italy) who spent life in China and early connected European and Chinese cultures.
His name was given to the Limadou project, a Chinese-Italian initiative aimed to perform high-precision measurements of stationary and transient phenomena in the upper ionosphere. The China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES) constellation is the most sensitive apparatus ever devised to study the correlation between large magnitude seismic events and perturbations in the ionosphere and nearest boundary of the innermost Van Allen belt. It senses the environment looking at the electric field, the magnetic field, the plasma, the high-energy particles: all signatures checked at the same time from the same set of instruments.
CSES-01 was launched on the 2nd of February of 2018, and among its payloads there is the High-Energy Particle Detector (HEPD), optimised to measure the flux of 3-200 MeV electrons and 30-300 MeV protons. HEPD was designed, constructed and tested by the Limadou collaboration, funded by ASI and INFN.
The collaboration involves a number of Italian research institutions, it continuously monitors the HEPD operations and has already produced a wealth of scientific results. Trento’s group develops and maintain the most abstract layer of the event reconstruction chain, based on deep learning models, and coordinates the analyses of transient phenomena.
The launch of CSES-02 is scheduled for mid 2022 and the Limadou collaboration is in charge of constructing the Electric Field Detector and the High Energy Particle Detector. HEPD-02 will be an upgraded version of HEPD, designed to be more sensitive and performant.
The most significant change pertains the tracker system, that is based on Monolithic Active Pixel Sensors (MAPS) instead of traditional Silicon Strip Detectors (SSD). The HEPD-02 tracker project, targeting the first ever use of MAPS in space, is developed by the Limadou groups of Trento, Torino and Firenze. Trento’s group is also leading the development of the Geant4-based Monte Carlo simulation of the HEPD-02 response to incoming radiation, as well as the construction and the characterisation of the calorimeter, made of LYSO bars.