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A key assumption in the reconstruction of extensive air showers using the air fluorescence technique is that fluorescence is proportional to energy deposition at all depths in the shower. This ansatz, along with the supposition that particle distribution and energy loss can be well modeled by modern shower simulation software, must be thoroughly verified. We report here the results of the first direct measurement of air fluorescence yield as a function of shower depth, as performed in thedoi:10.1016/j.nima.2008.08.053 fatcat:euu6qguvcvcgjbwrutzykl6cci