University of California Irvine
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: ARIANNA site at Moore's Bay
The idea of using a surface array of radio receivers to search for astrophysical sources has a long history. The ARIANNA concept utilizes the Ross Ice Shelf near the coast of Antarctica to increase the sensitivity to ultra-high-energy cosmogenic neutrinos by roughly an order of magnitude when compared to the sensitivity of existing detectors and those under construction. Therefore, ARIANNA can test a wide variety of scenarios for neutrino production and probe for physics beyond the standard model by measuring the neutrino cross-section at center of mass energies near 100 Tera-electron-Volts. ARIANNA capitalizes on several remarkable properties of the Ross Ice Shelf: Shelf ice is now measured to be relatively transparent to electromagnetic radiation at the radio frequencies of interest; and the water-ice boundary below the shelf behaves like a mirror that reflects radio signals from downgoing neutrinos back up to the surface antennas. The ability to operate continuously for nearly six months (or possibly more with the addition of wind power), the low energy threshold (~3x1017 electron-Volts), and a field of view of more than half the sky, combine to make ARIANNA a highly sensitive neutrino detector.
Field Season Overview:
Three field team members will deploy to McMurdo station and install three stations at Moore’s Bay on the Ross Ice Shelf, about 65 miles from McMurdo. The baseline concept consists of moderately high gain antenna stations arranged on a 100 x 100 square grid, separated by about 300 meters. Each station consists of eight linearly-polarized log-periodic dipole antennas (LPDA) to detect the radio signals generated by the neutrino interactions. They are deployed just beneath the snow surface and point downwards to detect the conical radio emission from neutrino interactions. The science team will receive support from a mountaineer in scouting the path to the station locations, from a BFC person experienced in camp setup and take-down, and general assistant(s) (GA) for removing snow from the work site.
Deploying Team Members:
Stuart Kleinfelder (Co-PI)