The Russian Science Foundation (RSF) has supported research in the field of ultrahigh-energy astrophysics conducted by scientists of the international collaboration at the TAIGA gamma-ray observatory.
The RSF grants were allocated for 4 winning projects of the Presidential Research Projects Program "Conducting research on the basis of the existing world-class scientific infrastructure". Each project is aimed at solving problems within the framework of the Strategy of scientific and technological development of the Russian Federation.
In particular, the project of Nikolay Budnev, research coordinator of the ISU Research Institute of Applied Physics, on new approaches to the study of features in the spectrum of cosmic rays in the energy range 0.1 – 1000 PeV (petaelectronvolt, also known as PeVatrons, is an off-system unit of energy) was supported. Receiving this grant means receiving support of 7 million rubles per year (2023-2026). Grants are also allocated for projects of scientists from other Russian organizations that are part of the TAIGA collaboration: M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, NSU (Novosibirsk), AltSU (Barnaul).
The TAIGA gamma-ray observatories are a megascience scientific installation located in the Tunka Valley (Buryatia), which has an astroclimate suitable for research. The observatory is one of the largest instruments in the world for solving problems of gamma-ray astronomy, it is designed to register ultrahigh-energy particles coming from the Universe. The information coming from deep space captured by gamma-ray observatory detectors will help to understand the history of the Universe, its development and current state, will contribute to understanding the fundamental laws of nature, and, as scientists say, will be the beginning of a New Physics beyond the Standard Model. The project is implemented by the TAIGA international collaboration, the lead organization of which is the ISU Research Institute of Applied Physics.
For the implementation of the TAIGA project in 2013, ISU received a 90 million rubles megagrant from the Government of the Russian Federation. In 2015, the grant was extended for two years, and the ISU received another 30 million rubles. In 2017, the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia supported the project with additional funding in the amount of 170,7 million rubles, then in 2019 – 87.5 million rubles. In 2021, ISU became the winner of the grant competition of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia again and recieved another 150 million rubles.
ISU receives the federal support for the implementation of the project within the framework of the national project "Nauka" [Science].