Cosmic ray composition measurements with the Auger Engineering Radio Array

Jun 12, 2018, 7:00 PM


Fabrizia Canfora (Nikhef/Radboud Univesity Nijmegen)


The mass composition of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays is an important key for answering questions about the origin of these rare particles. A composition-sensitive parameter is the atmospheric depth $X_{max}$ at which the maximum number of particles in the air shower is reached.
The Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA) detects the radio emission from extensive air showers with energies beyond $10^{17}$ eV in the 30 - 80 MHz frequency band. It consists of more than 150 autonomous radio stations covering an area of about 17 km². From the signal distribution measured at ground by the antennas, it is possible to estimate the $X_{max}$ of the air shower.
In this talk, several independent methods for the reconstruction of $X_{max}$ will be presented. These methods use alternatively, the lateral energy density profile, the frequency spectrum of each individual antenna station or the shower front reconstruction from the arrival time of the signal.
The results of these analysis can be combined to obtain a mass composition reconstruction that uses all the information in the detected radio signal.

Primary author

Fabrizia Canfora (Nikhef/Radboud Univesity Nijmegen)


Presentation materials