Acoustic Properties of Glacial ice for Neutrino Detection and the Enceladus Explorer

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
August 25, 2016
Filed under
Acoustic Properties of Glacial ice for Neutrino Detection and the Enceladus Explorer

Ultra high energy neutrinos may be observed in ice by the emission of acoustic signals. The SPATS detector has investigated the possibility of observing GZK-neutrinos in the clear ice near the South Pole at the IceCube detector site. To explore other potential detection sites glacial ice in the Alps and in Antarctica has been surveyed for its acoustical properties

The purpose of the Enceladus Explorer (EnEx), on the other hand, is the search for extraterrestrial life on the Saturn moon Enceladus. Here acoustics is used to maneuver a subsurface probe inside the ice by trilateration of signals. A system of acoustic transducers has been developed to study both applications. In the south polar region of the moon Enceladus there are secluded crevasses. These are filled with liquid water, probably heated by tidal forces due to the short distance to Saturn.

We intend to take a sample of water from these crevasses by using a combination of a melt down and steering probe called IceMole (IM). Maneuvering IM requires a good understanding of ice properties such as the speed of sound, the attenuation of acoustic signals in ice, their directional dependencies and their dependence on different frequencies. The technology developed for this positioning system could also contribute to the design of future large scale acoustic neutrino detectors. We present our analysis methods and the findings on attenuation, sound speed, and frequency response obtained at several sites in the Alps and Antarctica.

K. Helbing (1), R. Hoffmann (1), U. Naumann (1), D. Eliseev (2), D. Heinen (2), F. Scholz (2), C. Wiebusch (2), S. Zierke (2) ((1) Dept. of Physics, University of Wuppertal, (2) III. Physikalisches Institut, RWTH Aachen University)
(Submitted on 17 Aug 2016)

Comments: 7 pages, 12 figures, ICRC 2015
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Instrumentation and Detectors (physics.ins-det)
Cite as: arXiv:1608.04971 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1608.04971v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Ruth Hoffmann
[v1] Wed, 17 Aug 2016 14:16:42 GMT (8547kb,D)

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