The ANTARES and KM3NeT neutrino telescopes: status and outlook for acoustic studies

Jun 12, 2018, 3:00 PM


Veronique Van Elewyck (Universite Paris Diderot)


ANTARES, the largest underwater neutrino telescope in the Northern Hemisphere, has been continuously operating since 2007 in the Mediterranean Sea. It consists of an array of vertical lines, hosting triplets of optical modules that detect the Cherenkov light emitted by charged particles originating from neutrino interactions in and around the detector. The transparency of the water allows for a very good angular resolution in the reconstruction of signatures of interactions from neutrinos of all flavors. This results in unprecedented sensitivity for neutrino source searches in the Southern Sky at TeV energies, so that valuable constraints can be set on the origin of the cosmic neutrino flux discovered by the IceCube detector. ANTARES also comprised an acoustic test system, dubbed AMADEUS, featuring 36 acoustic
sensors, which have been taking data from 2008 to 2015 in the context of a
feasibility study towards acoustic detection of ultra-high energy neutrinos in sea water.

Building on the successful experience of ANTARES the next generation KM3NeT neutrino telescope is now under construction in the Mediterranean Sea. Two detectors with the same technology but different granularity are foreseen: ARCA designed to search for high energy (TeV-PeV) cosmic neutrinos (~Gton instrumented volume, offshore Capo Passero, Italy) and ORCA that will focus on atmospheric neutrino oscillations at the GeV scale (with ~few Mtons instrumented volume, offshore Toulon, France), addressing the question of the neutrino mass hierarchy. KM3NeT provides an excellent framework for an improved acoustic detection test setup. The acoustic sensors dedicated to the position calibration of the detector can be used for neutrino detection investigations. New concepts, in particular fibre-based hydrophones, are also under study to further increase the sensitive volume of KM3NeT beyond the volume instrumented with optical detectors.

This talk presents an overview of the status and of the main results of ANTARES, and discusses the scientific perspectives for KM3NeT, with a focus on acoustic detection devices and methods.

Primary author

Veronique Van Elewyck (Universite Paris Diderot)

Presentation materials