The XY Scanner – A Versatile Method of the Absolute End-to-End Calibration of Fluorescence Detectors

The Pierre Auger Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


One of the crucial detector systems of the Pierre Auger Observatory is the fluorescence detector composed of 27 large-aperture wide-angle Schmidt telescopes. In the past, these telescopes were absolutely calibrated by illuminating the whole aperture with a uniform large-diameter light source. This absolute calibration was performed roughly once every three years, while a relative calibration was performed on a nightly basis. In this contribution, a new technique for an absolute end-to-end calibration of the fluorescence telescopes is presented. For this technique, a portable, calibrated light source mounted on a rail system is moved across the aperture of each telescope instead of illuminating the whole aperture at once. A dedicated setup using a combination of NIST traceable photodiodes to measure the mean intensity and a PMT for pulse-to-pulse stability tracking has been built for the absolute calibration of the light source. As a result of these complementary measurements, the pulse-to-pulse light source intensity can be known to the 3.5% uncertainty level. The analysis of the readout of the PMT camera at each position of the light source together with the knowledge of the light source emission provides an absolute end-to-end calibration of the telescope. We will give a brief overview of this novel calibration method and its current status as well as show preliminary results from the measurement campaigns performed so far.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number220
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - Mar 18 2022
Event37th International Cosmic Ray Conference, ICRC 2021 - Virtual, Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 12 2021Jul 23 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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