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

Student Projects

Student projects for the Pierre Auger Observatory aim predominantly on the realization of a radio detection array for air showers in the earths atmosphere. This is a new technique for the observation of high-energy cosmic rays. In an initial stage, this radio array will consist of about 100-150 simple radio antennas distributed over an area of about 20 km2.

Electric field strength in the atmosphere (Ad M. van den Berg)

The strength of radio signals generated by air showers is influenced by weather conditions. Especially a strong variation in the field strength (thunder storms) may cause a large influence. This effect but also the long-term behavior of the relation between signal strength and atmospheric conditions has to be studied.

Radio noise floor (Ad M. van den Berg)

The radio sensors will be located in the Pampas Amarilla between the water tanks of the Pierre Auger Observatory. The site has to be explored beforehand to determine the noise floor in the frequency domain between 20 and 100 MHz.

Simulation of wireless data transfer between radio stations (Ad M. van den Berg)

The radio sensors send their data through wireless communication from one station to the next. Taking into account the field of view of the antennas a communications map has to be made to check possible problems between different nodes.

Development of a smart trigger for radio detection (Ad M. van den Berg)

In the radio sensors signals originating from noise (e.g. transients) have to be discriminated from those induced by air showers.  For that purpose smart algorithms have to be developed and tested using existing or new data. These algorithms will be implemented on FPGA's or small CPU's inside the local radio stations.

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Last modified:28 January 2014 12.00 p.m.