The PANDA experiment is a part of the future FAIR accelerator facility and will study the strong interaction by detecting the reaction products from antiproton-proton annihilations in a near full solid-angle configuration. One option for the internal proton target in PANDA is frozen micro-spheres of hydrogen, so-called pellets.
Such a pellet target is interesting because of the unique characteristics it offers; the high target thickness, the small interaction volume, the minimal gas load on the vacuum system, and the possibility of tracking individual pellets. Nevertheless, it is possible to allocate the bulky equipment needed to produce the pellets at a few meters away from the beam. This way particle detectors can be located close and almost fully around the interaction point.
This thesis is devoted to the optimization of a pellet target. To perform measurements, a Pellet-Test Station was built at The Svedberg Laboratory, Uppsala. For the first time, experimental results show the pellet distribution in space and time, and in addition, the vacuum along the pellet pipes. Furthermore, dedicated measurements carried out at CELSIUS/WASA demonstrate the existence of pellet heating as a result of beam-target interactions.
In performing calculations, the potential problems with pellet heating at PANDA are outlined. Moreover, to look at the consequences for the desired physics, a reaction involving short-lived D-mesons has been used to show the advantages of pellets compared to a more spacious target.
In conclusion, these studies lead to a deeper understanding of the pellet properties, which makes it possible to suggest future improvements, such as cooling with no vibrations.