Design and initial performance of the prototype for the BEACON instrument for detection of ultrahigh energy particles

Dan Southall, Cosmin Deaconu, Valentin Decoene, Eric Oberla, Andrew Zeolla, Jaime Alvarez-Muñiz, Austin Cummings, Zach Curtis-Ginsberg, Angus Hendrick, Kaeli Hughes, Ryan Krebs, Andrew Ludwig, Katharine Mulrey, Steven Prohira, Washington Rodrigues de Carvalho, Andres Rodriguez, Andres Romero-Wolf, Harm Schoorlemmer, Abigail G. Vieregg, Stephanie A. WisselEnrique Zas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Beamforming Elevated Array for COsmic Neutrinos (BEACON) is a planned neutrino telescope designed to detect radio emission from upgoing air showers generated by ultrahigh energy tau neutrino interactions in the Earth. This detection mechanism provides a measurement of the tau flux of cosmic neutrinos. We have installed an 8-channel prototype instrument at high elevation at Barcroft Field Station, which has been running since 2018, and consists of 4 dual-polarized antennas sensitive between 30–80 MHz, whose signals are filtered, amplified, digitized, and saved to disk using a custom data acquisition system (DAQ). The BEACON prototype is at high elevation to maximize effective volume and uses a directional beamforming trigger to improve rejection of anthropogenic background noise at the trigger level. Here we discuss the design, construction, and calibration of the BEACON prototype instrument. We also discuss the radio frequency environment observed by the instrument, and categorize the types of events seen by the instrument, including a likely cosmic ray candidate event.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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