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

Collaborative Research: IceCube Gen2 Phase 1; an IceCube extension for precision neutrino physics and astrophysics

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Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1719277

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Paul Sullivan

Principal Investigator(s)

Mr. Kael Dylan Hanson
University of Wisconsin Madison
Department of Physics
Madison, Wisconsin


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: South Pole


The IceCube Phase I Upgrade, hereafter The Upgrade, seeks to enhance the scientific capabilities of the existing IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole Station with a modest deployment of seven additional “strings” of advanced optical sensor instrumentation evolved from the highly successful IceCube Digital Optical Module (DOM) design. IceCube encompasses 1 Gton (a billion tons) of optically transparent glacial ice which serves simultaneously as a massive target for neutrinos of atmospheric and astrophysical origin and a Cherenkov radiator medium producing the light detected by the array of optical sensors. IceCube, with an inter-string spacing of 125 m and a spacing of sensors along the string of 17 m, was originally optimized for detection of neutrinos in the energy range of O(1) TeV to O(1) PeV. During construction, a DeepCore infill array was deployed inside the IceCube strings to reduce the energy threshold to several tens of GeV. The Upgrade continues the trend by lowering the energy threshold to O(5) GeV.

Field Season Overview

Three participants will deploy to South Pole Station to determine the actual status of the Enhanced Hot Water Drill (EHWD) equipment that was left at the South Pole and McMurdo after the successful IceCube drilling campaign of 2010/2011. They will prepare and retrograde for refurbishment drill equipment as needed. Project participants will require one full day in McMurdo while transiting to the South Pole. While there, they will inspect and verify any IceCube EHWD equipment that can be either reused, retrograded, or scrapped.

Deploying Team Members

  • Barbara Birrittella
  • Dennis Duling
  • Delia Tosa