Pre-launch estimates for GLAST sensitivity to dark matter annihilation signals

E. A. Baltz, B. Berenji, G. Bertone, L. Bergström, E. Bloom, T. Bringmann, J. Chiang, J. Cohen-Tanugi, J. Conrad, Y. Edmonds, J. Edsjö, G. Godfrey, R. E. Hughes, R. P. Johnson, A. Lionetto, A. A. Moiseev, A. Morselli, I. V. Moskalenko, E. Nuss, J. F. OrmesR. Rando, A. J. Sander, A. Sellerholm, P. D. Smith, A. W. Strong, L. Wai, P. Wang, B. L. Winer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


We investigate the sensitivity of the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) for indirectly detecting weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) through the γ-ray signal that their pair annihilation produces. WIMPs are among the favorite candidates for explaining the compelling evidence that about 80% of the mass in the Universe is non-baryonic dark matter (DM). They are serendipitously motivated by various extensions of the standard model of particle physics such as supersymmetry and universal extra dimensions (UED). With its unprecedented sensitivity and its very large energy range (20MeV to more than 300GeV) the main instrument on board the GLAST satellite, the Large Area Telescope (LAT), will open a new window of discovery. As our estimates show, the LAT will be able to detect an indirect DM signature for a large class of WIMP models given a cuspy profile for the DM distribution. Using the current state of the art Monte Carlo and event reconstruction software developed within the LAT collaboration, we present preliminary sensitivity studies for several possible sources inside and outside the Galaxy. We also discuss the potential of the LAT to detect UED via the electron/positron channel. Diffuse background modeling and other background issues that will be important in setting limits or seeing a signal are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Dark matter
  • Dark matter detectors
  • Dark matter simulations


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