7-10 June 2016
Groningen, Netherlands
Europe/Amsterdam timezone

Nanosecond-level time synchronization of AERA using a beacon reference transmitter and commercial airplanes

7 Jun 2016, 10:10
Groningen, Netherlands

Groningen, Netherlands

Hampshire Plaza Hotel


Tim Huege (KIT)


Radio detection of cosmic-ray air showers requires time synchronization of detectors on a nanosecond level, especially for advanced reconstruction algorithms based on the wavefront curvature and for interferometric analysis approaches. At the Auger Engineering Radio Array, the distributed, autonomous detector stations are time-synchronized via the Global Positioning System which, however, does not provide sufficient timing accuracy. We thus employ a dedicated beacon reference transmitter to correct for event-by-event clock drifts in our offline data analysis. In an independent cross-check of this “beacon correction” using radio pulses emitted by commercial airplanes we have shown that the combined timing accuracy of the two methods is better than 2 nanoseconds. We present the concept, experimental setup and results of both the beacon and airplane timing calibration approaches.

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