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Site Characterization for a Greenland Neutrino Observatory

General

Organisation
Project start
01.01.2013
Project end
31.12.2015
Type of project
ARMAP/NSF
Project theme
Space physics
Project topic
Space physics

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 67.0179977417, -50.69400024414

Fieldwork start
29.05.2013
Fieldwork end
08.06.2013

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland Ice Sheet
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 72.57, -38.48

Fieldwork start
31.05.2013
Fieldwork end
06.06.2013

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 67.0179977417, -50.69400024414

Fieldwork start
08.06.2015
Fieldwork end
01.07.2015

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland Ice Sheet
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 72.57, -38.48

Fieldwork start
09.06.2015
Fieldwork end
29.06.2015

SAR information

Project details

09.04.2019
Science / project plan

.

Science / project summary
Ultra-high energy (UHE) neutrino astronomy is a rapidly evolving field that sits at the crossroads of particle physics, astronomy, and astrophysics. Neutrinos travel virtually unimpeded through the Universe, making them unique messenger particles for cosmic sources, carrying information about very distant sources that would otherwise be unavailable. Detection of ultra-high energy neutrinos could also reveal the origin of cosmic rays. Current and recent efforts to detect UHE neutrinos (the balloon-borne ANITA experiment, the ARA effort at the South Pole, and ARIANNA on the Ross Ice Shelf) have utilized radio detection techniques, searching for coherent, impulsive radio signals that are emitted as electromagnetic particle cascades are induced by neutrinos interacting with a dielectric such as ice. UHE neutrino detection requires enormous volumes of a naturally-occurring dielectric material that allows radio signals to pass through without significant attenuation. Current experimental efforts monitor enormous volumes of Antarctic ice, whose radio attenuation properties have been directly measured by us and our collaborators at multiple locations in Antarctica (Barrella et al. 2010, Besson et al. 2008, Barwick et al. 2005). ANITA searches for neutrinos interacting within all of the ice that is within its 700 km horizon while the payload is at float altitude, while ARA and ARIANNA both instrument smaller sections of ice directly on (or just below) the surface. If the neutrino detectors that are currently being developed in Antarctica are successful, the natural follow-up experiment would eventually be a similar detector installed in the Northern hemisphere to catalogue the half of the sky that is not visible from Antarctica. Determining the radio attenuation length in ice at Summit Station would be the first step toward site exploration for such a project. The researchers will perform similar measurements at Summit Station in Greenland to those that have been made in Antarctica to determine if the ice there exhibits similar low-loss properties between 200-1200 MHz and measure the radio noise environment at Summit Station. Previous radio measurements of ice properties at Summit Station have been made by geologists (Paden et al. 2005) as a by-product of measurements that characterize the rock interface at the bottom of the ice sheet, and hint at very long attenuation lengths ( > 500 m), rivaling those measured in the Antarctic.
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