Timing calibration and synchronization of surface and fluorescence detectors of the Pierre Auger Observatory

P. Allison, J. Bellido, X. Bertou, C. E. Covault, M. DuVernois, B. E. Fick, H. Gemmeke, M. Kleifges, A. Letessier-Selvon, M. Mostafa, A. Menshikov, F. Meyer, C. Pryke, M. Roberts, P. Sommers, E. Vanderpan, F. Vernotte, L. Wiencke

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Reconstruction of cosmic ray arrival directions for Surface Detectors (SD) and Fluorescence Detectors (FD) of the Pierre Auger Observatory requires accurate timing (25 nanoseconds or better) between measurements at individual detectors and instrument triggers. Timing systems for both SD and FD are based on Motorola Oncore UT+ GPS receivers installed into custom-built time-tagging circuits that are calibrated in the laboratory to a statistical precision of better than 15 ns. We describe timing calibration and synchronization methods applied in the field for both the SD and the FD systems in four areas: (1) checks of timing offsets within the SD using co-located station pairs and timing residuals on reconstructed showers, (2) calibration within the FD using a custom-build LED calibration system, (3) calibration between SD and FD using laser signals fed simultaneously into an SD station and across the FD via the Central Laser Facility (CLF), and (4) studies of synchronization between FD and SD through the analysis of events detected by both systems, called hybrid events. These hybrid events allow for a much more accurate reconstruction of the shower and for relatively tight constraints on timing calibration offsets. We demonstrate that statistical and systematic timing uncertainties have no significant impact on the event reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Event29th International Cosmic Ray Conference, ICRC 2005 - Pune, India
Duration: Aug 3 2005Aug 10 2005


Other29th International Cosmic Ray Conference, ICRC 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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