The Italian Collaborators (IC) of CALET belong to research groups with a long standing tradition in High Energy Physics (HEP) and High Energy Astroparticle Physics (HEAP), operating in the research framework of Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF) and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR). 
Most of the senior (and some of the younger) physicists have been working for years in large international collaborations at particle accelerators: CERN (including ALEPH, L3, LHCf); FNAL (CDF collaboration); SLAC (BaBar collaboration), and ...
 
 

aleph

 ALEPH at CERN   

CDF

 CDF at FNAL

 
in cosmic ray research with balloons (including the series of flights of the Wizard collaboration and Long Duration Balloon flights with CREAM in Antarctica), and ...

CREAM-fig

           CREAM launch in 2004 from McMurdo (Antarctica)

  Caprice98

 Caprice98 balloon payload (Wizard coll.)

 
in cosmic ray research with space-borne missions including PAMELA, in orbit aboard the Russian satellite Resurs-DK1, and AMS on the International Space Station (ISS). 
 

Resurs-Dk1

       Resurs-DK1 satellite hosting PAMELA

 pamela-payload

                PAMELA payload

 
The experience gained in designing, building, commissioning and operating large and complex detectors for ground experiments at accelerators, has been applied to the severe requirements posed by balloon and space payloads. In the latter two cases, on one hand the lower counting rates and reduced radiation damage problems make things easier with respect to particle experiments at high energy accelerators, but on the other hand the severe limitations on the payload weight and power, the harsh space environment and the remote operating conditions pose formidable challenges. 
 
The development of frontier particle and radiation detectors is pursued very effectively by INFN and the Italian groups participating in CALET have been extremely active along the years with R&D programs including the design and prototyping of tracking detectors, magnetic spectrometers, sampling and homogeneous calorimeters, particle identification systems and dedicated front-end and readout electronics.
 
Experience in the simulation of complex instruments and in the data analysis techniques used in high energy physics have been of advantage in the design and implementation of a software environment capable to generate a detailed instrument model and to guide the physicist in assessing the performance and possible flaws of the instrument. The present scenario of cosmic-ray data - after one century of direct measurements - strongly suggests the need to reduce the systematic differences among the results obtained by different experiments. Therefore a deep understanding of the experimental details is mandatory to minimize the impact of systematic errors in the measurements.