A large radio array at the Pierre Auger observatory

Jun 13, 2018, 11:30 AM


Jörg Hörandel (Ru Nijmegen/Nikhef)



Our understanding of radio detection of cosmic rays has been greatly improved over the last years. Extensive air showers are now routinely measured with experiments like Tunka-Rex, the LOFAR radio telescope, or the to date biggest radio detector for cosmic rays, the 17 km$^2$ Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA) at the Pierre Auger Observatory. The properties of the incoming cosmic rays are measured with state-of-the-art resolution.

The next step in radio detection is the application of the technique on very large scales. We aim to add a new detector layer in form of radio antennas to the 3000 km$^2$ Surface Detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory. This effort is complementary to the ongoing upgrade of the observatory in which a layer of scintillation detectors is added to each water Cherenkov detector of the Surface Detector. The radio detector provides a clean measurement of the electromagnetic shower component for cosmic rays arriving from the zenith up to the horizon. Thus, the aperture of the Auger upgrade will be significantly enlarged. We will outline the physics potential and the envisaged technical implementation of the large radio array.

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