Pierre Auger Observatory

A search for cosmic-ray sources with IceCube, the Pierre Auger Observatory, and the Telescope Array

High-energy neutrinos are thought to be excellent cosmic messengers when exploring the extreme universe: they don’t bend in magnetic fields as cosmic rays (CRs) do and they are not absorbed by the radiation background as gamma rays are. However, it turns out that the deviation of some CRs, namely protons, is expected to be only a few degrees at energies above 50 EeV. This opens the possibility for investigating common origins of high-energy neutrinos and CRs.

In a new study by the IceCube, Pierre Auger, and Telescope Array Collaborations, scientists have looked for correlations between the highest energy neutrino candidates in IceCube and the highest energy CRs in these two cosmic-ray observatories. The results, submitted today to the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, have not found any correlation at discovery level. However, potentially interesting results have been found and will continue to be studied in future joint analyses.

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Project AERA - Auger Engineering Radio Array

AERA set up

AERA is a new antenna system that measures faint radio signals and short (in the frequency range of tens of MHz) produced in air showers produced by AERA is a new antenna system that measures faint radio signals and short (in the frequency range of tens of MHz) produced in air showers produced by cosmic rays at high energy. It uses an array of dozens of antennas, a signal processing electronics developed for this purpose.

AERA antennas are active 24 hours a day, like the surface detectors of the Pierre Auger Observatory. While this cosmic ray detection technique has been proposed over 50 years ago, it could only be implemented recently, due to technical difficulties. Currently there are a total of 124 radio stations that are operational, which are installed in 2 steps. In a first stage, AERA-1 was deployed in 2010 and consisted in 24 radio stations equipped with detectors LPDA (logarithmic-periodic dipole) antennas located on a grid of 150 m away. The second stage was installed in May 2013, 100 stations of different design. These AERA-2 stations are equipped with a simple Butterfly-Antenna and spaced between 250 m and 375 m away. Four radio stations that have the ability to measure the electric field vector in 3D were also installed.

The advancement of AERA and availability of almost 100% of the time led to the first results that confirm that the theoretical predictions about the emission mechanism and Monte Carlo simulations are in good agreement with the data. In a few months we will begin to install more 3D antennas.

AERA antennas digitizers use the latest generation, which have been able to record the first events to coincide with the surface detectors of the Auger Observatory.

Argentinian Konex Award Winner

Konex Awards 2013 Science and Technology

On 18th September 2013, the Pierre Auger Observatory was awarded by the Argentinian Konex Foundation a special mention as "Highlights of the Decade" for its installation and impacts at Malargüe, in the Mendoza Province, Argentina. Conceived in 1995, the construction of the Pierre Auger Observatory began in 2000 to end on 15/11/2008. The first record of cosmic radiation made by the Pierre Auger Observatory took place on August 2nd, 2001 and marks its birth.

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