Advances in Astronomy and Space Physics, Volume 7, Issue 1-2, PP. 23-29 (2017)
doi: 10.17721/2227-1481.7.23-29

Cosmic-Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory:
a global cosmic ray detection framework

O. Sushchov1, P. Homola1, N. Dhital1, Ł. Bratek1, P. Poznański1,2, T. Wibig3,4,
J. Zamora-Saa5, K. Almeida Cheminant1, D. Alvarez Castillo5, D. Góra1, P. Jagoda1,6,
J. Jałocha7, J. F. Jarvis1,8, M. Kasztelan9, K. Kopański1, M. Krupiński1, M. Michałek1,2,
V. Nazari1,4, K. Smelcerz1,2, K. Smolek10, J. Stasielak1, M. Sułek1,2

1Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences, Radzikowskiego 152, 31-342 Cracow, Poland
2Cracow University of Technology, Warszawska 24, 31-155 Cracow, Poland
3Physics Education Lab, Faculty of Physics and Applied Informatics, University of Łódź, 149/158 Pomorska str., 90-236 Łódź, Poland
4Cosmic Ray Laboratory, Astrophysics Division, National Centre for Nuclear Research, 69 Pułku Strzelców Kaniowskich Str., 90-558 Łódź, Poland
5Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 141980 Dubna, Russia
6AGH University of Science and Technology, al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Cracow, Poland
7Institute of Physics, Cracow University of Technology, PL-30084 Cracow, Poland
8School of Physical Sciences, Open University, Buckinghamshire, MK7 6AA, United Kingdom
9National Centre for Nuclear Research, Andrzeja Sołtana 7, 05-400 Otwock-Świerk, Poland
10Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Czech Technical University in Prague, Horská 3a/22, 12800, Praha2, Czech Republic

The main objective of the Cosmic-Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory (CREDO) is the detection and analysis of extended cosmic ray phenomena, so-called super-preshowers (SPS), using existing as well as new infrastructure (cosmic-ray observatories, educational detectors, single detectors etc.). The search for ensembles of cosmic ray events initiated by SPS is yet an untouched ground, in contrast to the current state-of-the-art analysis, which is focused on the detection of single cosmic ray events. Theoretical explanation of SPS could be given either within classical (e.g., photon-photon interaction) or exotic (e.g., Super Heavy Dark Matter decay or annihilation) scenarios, thus detection of SPS would provide a better understanding of particle physics, high energy astrophysics and cosmology. The ensembles of cosmic rays can be classified based on the spatial and temporal extent of particles constituting the ensemble. Some classes of SPS are predicted to have huge spatial distribution, a unique signature detectable only with a facility of the global size. Since development and commissioning of a completely new facility with such requirements is economically unwarranted and time-consuming, the global analysis goals are achievable when all types of existing detectors are merged into a worldwide network. The idea to use the instruments in operation is based on a novel trigger algorithm: in parallel to looking for neighbour surface detectors receiving the signal simultaneously, one should also look for spatially isolated stations clustered in a small time window. On the other hand, CREDO strategy is also aimed at an active engagement of a large number of participants, who will contribute to the project by using common electronic devices (e.g., smartphones), capable of detecting cosmic rays. It will help not only in expanding the geographical spread of CREDO, but also in managing a large manpower necessary for a more efficient crowd-sourced pattern recognition scheme to identify and classify SPS. A worldwide network of cosmic-ray detectors could not only become a unique tool to study fundamental physics, it will also provide a number of other opportunities, including space-weather or geophysics studies. Among the latter one has to list the potential to predict earthquakes by monitoring the rate of low energy cosmic-ray events. The diversity of goals motivates us to advertise this concept across the astroparticle physics community.

dark matter, cosmic rays, data analysis