2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

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

Development of the Askaryan Radio Array ultra-high energy neutrino detector at the South Pole
A-107-S Research Location(s): On station


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Paul Sullivan / Timothy Ager / Leah Street

Principal Investigator(s)

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 on-ice activities of the ARA team this season will focus on improving the performance of the five previously deployed stations, doing some maintenance, surveying existing stations, and conducting calibration tasks. South Pole Ice Core (SPICECore) logging will provide additional radio sources for ARA calibration. The team will establish wireless communication between the ARA1 station and the Ice Core Lab to support test-mode operations. ARA personnel may also support some of ARIANNA (Antarctic Ross Ice-Shelf Antenna Neutrino Array) activities at South Pole.

Deploying Team Members

  • David Besson
  • Rishabh Khandelwal
  • Ilya Kravchenko
  • Yue Pan