Pierre Auger Observatory

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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Romania Becomes A Member

On 13 March 2014, Romania was officially accepted as a full member state in the international collaboration "Pierre Auger Observatory". Spread over an area of 3000 km2 in Argentina, Auger is the largest cosmic radiation experiment in the world. This collaboration allows Romanian researchers to contribute to solving the mysteries of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.

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