2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Development of the Askaryan Radio Array ultra-high energy neutrino detector at the South Pole
Dr. Albrecht Karle
University of Wisconsin Madison
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
The Askaryan Radio Array (ARA) testbed stations are aimed to detect high-energy neutrinos from space by observing radio pulses generated by neutrinos as they travel through and interact with ice. At these very high energies, neutrinos can be detected in dense, radio-frequency- transparent media, such as ice, by the Askaryan effect - an excess of negative charge that builds up when electrons are swept out along a neutrino shower front advancing relativistically through the ice. The ice's thickness (estimated to be almost two miles) and exceptional radio-frequency clarity make the Southern polar ice cap an ideal place to study these ultra-high-energy neutrinos.
Field Season Overview
Team members will deploy three ARA stations, consisting of antenna and calibration strings, in the ice approximately six kilometers grid-west from the IceCube Lab (ICL). A previously installed cable will connect the stations to the IceCube Lab (ICL). Each station consists of six holes drilled to a depth of 200m with a diameter of six inches. The holes will be pumped dry, and antennas will be deployed into the bottom 25m of the holes along with data acquisition (DAQ) instrumentation that will reside at the surface. Each of these stations will require the following activities: drilling, deployment, commissioning and calibration. The surface vaults at ARA 1, 2 and 3 must be excavated for cable hookup to new ARA stations 4, 5 and 6. In addition, DAQ surface electronics will be replaced at ARA stations 1 and 3 in the first part of the season.
Deploying Team Members