DECO is also a tool for research. The app is used in research projects for physics undergraduates as well as in dedicated studies to learn more about the sensors in phones and other devices.

The DECO team has also used the cosmic rays detected by DECO app users to measure the thickness of the image sensor of a phone’s camera, which happens to be an important feature if you want to use your phone as a telescope, i.e., if you want to learn about the direction of the cosmic particles reaching your phone. Read more about this here.


“Measurement of camera image sensor depletion thickness with cosmic rays,” J. Vandenbroucke et al. Submitted to the Journal of Instrumentation,

“Detecting particles with cell phones: the Distributed Electronic Cosmic-ray Observatory,” J. Vandenbroucke et al. PoS (ICRC2015) 691