The balloon shortly after taking off, showing CAEN’s Cosmic Hunter inside a heated box attached to the basket

At the 42nd international balloon festival in Château-d’Oex, Hans Peter Beck (University of Bern and Fribourg) ascended on January 25th 2020 with some of his students up to 4000m in a hot-air balloon, commemorating the historic flight of Albert Gockel from 1909 (with modern equipment using CAEN Cosmic Hunter), measuring cosmic rays.

From CERN COURIER March/April 2020 [K]: “ATLAS experimentalist Hans Peter Beck of the University of Bern, and a visiting professor at the University of Fribourg, along with two students from the University of Fribourg, reenacted Gockel’s and Hess’s pioneering flights using 21st-century technology: a muon telescope called the Cosmic Hunter, newly developed by instrumentation firm CAEN. The educational device, which counts coincidences in two scintillating-fibre tiles of 15 × 15 cm2 separated by 15 cm, verified that the flux of cosmic rays increases as a function of altitude. Within two hours of landing, including a one-hour drive back to the starting point, Beck was able to present the data plots during a public talk attended by more than 250 people. A second flight up to 6000 m is planned, with oxygen supplies for passengers, when weather conditions permit.”