The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) will carry out a sensitive dark matter search by measuring low-energy (E < 0.25 GeV/nucleon) cosmic ray antinuclei. The primary target are low-energy antideuterons that might be produced in the annihilation or decay of dark matter. At these energies the antideuteron intensity from secondary/tertiary interactions is expected to be several orders of magnitude lower with respect to those predicted by beyond the standard model theories. GAPS will also conduct a low-energy antihelium search and will provide the highest-statistics spectral measurement of antiproton at these energies. Combined, these observations will provide a powerful search for dark matter and for primordial black hole evaporation.
GAPS will use a novel particle identification method based on exotic atom formation and
decay with emission of pions, protons and atomic X-rays from a common annihilation vertex.
This detection technique will give GAPS the high rejection factors necessary for rare antinuclei searches.
The detector consists of a tracker, made up by ten planes of lithium-drifted silicon Si(Li) detectors, surrounded by a plastic scintillator
The first of a series of a long-duration Antarctic balloon flight is expected for the austral summer of 2020 or 2021. This presentation covers the scientific motivation for the GAPS experiment, its design and its current status.