2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
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2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Development of the Askaryan Radio Array ultra-high energy neutrino detector at the South Pole

ARA detector deployment in December 2012: Mike Richman, prepares an antenna for the 200 m descend.
Photo by: Albrecht Karle


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Paul Sullivan / Leah Street

Principal Investigator

Dr. Albrecht Karle

University of Wisconsin Madison
Department of Physics
Madison, Wisconsin

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: On 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

The project will establish two stations (A4 and A5) additional to the existing ARA3 array currently in operation at the South Pole. The existing ARA testbed and stations were installed at the South Pole over the period spanning 2010 through 2013 (Karle, 1002485). ARA is located approximately 6 to 10 km grid-west from the South Pole station in the Dark Sector. This season, ASC will conduct site preparation activities, including surveying the new station locations and roads, track-packing roads from the Ice Cube Laboratory (ICL) to the new sites, and track-packing 3000 ft3 pads at each of the new station locations. The science team will prepare the ARA hot water drill (ARAHWD) and other equipment currently stored at the South Pole for the drilling season (2017-18) and will stage equipment at the ICL.

Deploying Team Members

  • Ming-Yuan Lu
  • Keiichi Mase