Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
KVI - Center for Advanced Radiation TechnologyOnderzoek en onderwijsAstroparticle Physics (APP)Pierre Auger Observatory

Present Activities for Auger

Radio Detection of Cosmic Rays

Initial data obtained in the 1960's by amongst others Jelley et al and Allan et al showed that the detection of radio signals, induced by cosmic rays penetrating the Earth’s atmosphere, could be a valuable observational tool for cosmic-ray studies. However, the frequency interval, where the strength of radio emission from extensive air showers peaks, is difficult to study. The reason for this difficulty lies in the emission mechanism leading to relatively strong signals below 100 MHz. In this very same region not only the galactic noise increases rapidly, but also atmospheric and human-made disturbances may lead to substantial background levels. However, in recent years new observational techniques have been developed and the available computational power, also near the front end of radio receiver systems, has revived the field. The radio detection technique at Auger can enhance the duty cycle for the detection of UHECR’s (using at least two separate detector systems in particular radio and SD) with a factor of 10. In addition, the technique may provide information which is complementary to that from SD and FD, as it determines directly the evolution of the electromagnetic properties of the shower in the atmosphere. This complementary information might open the possibility to study the composition of the primary event. The high duty cycle will provide us with many more events which are needed for a statistical analysis to determine possible anisotropies, to identify point sources, and to get a better insight into the composition of these UHECR’s. Especially in the energy window beyond 1019 eV, where (extra-)galactic magnetic fields are thought to have little influence on the trajectory of the CR’s, radio with its high duty cycle and high pointing accuracy, could be an enormous asset for UHECR studies of Auger and opens the window to charged-particle astronomy.

Last modified:08 August 2016 08.07 a.m.