From U Wisconsin IceCube Collaboration: A Flock of Articles on NSF Grant to Upgrade IceCube

U Wisconsin ICECUBE neutrino detector at the South Pole

From From U Wisconsin IceCube Collaboration

From U Wisconsin: “UW lab gears up for another Antarctic drilling campaign”

With news that the National Science Foundation (NSF) and international partners will support an upgrade to the IceCube neutrino detector at the South Pole, the UW–Madison lab that built the novel drill used to bore mile-deep holes in the Antarctic ice is gearing up for another drilling campaign.

The UW’s Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL), which specializes in making customized equipment for UW–Madison researchers, will once again lead drilling operations. The $37 million upgrade announced this week (July 16, 2019) will expand the IceCube detector by adding seven new strings of 108 optical modules each to study the basic properties of neutrinos, phantom-like particles that emanate from black holes and exploding stars, but that also cascade through Earth’s atmosphere as a result of colliding subatomic particles.

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“It takes a crew of 30 people to run this 24/7. It’s the people that make it work,” says Bob Paulos, director of the Physical Sciences Lab. Photo: Bryce Richter

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From U Wisconsin: “IceCube: Antarctic neutrino detector to get $37 million upgrade”

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The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is located at NSF’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Management and operation of the observatory is through the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center at UW–Madison. Raffaela Busse, IceCube / NSF

IceCube, the Antarctic neutrino detector that in July of 2018 helped unravel one of the oldest riddles in physics and astronomy — the origin of high-energy neutrinos and cosmic rays — is getting an upgrade.

This month, the National Science Foundation (NSF) approved $23 million in funding to expand the detector and its scientific capabilities. Seven new strings of optical modules will be added to the 86 existing strings, adding more than 700 new, enhanced optical modules to the 5,160 sensors already embedded in the ice beneath the geographic South Pole.

The upgrade, to be installed during the 2022–23 polar season, will receive additional support from international partners in Japan and Germany as well as from Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Total new investment in the detector will be about $37 million.

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From Niels Bohr Institute: “A new Upgrade for the IceCube detector”

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Illustration of the IceCube laboratory under the South Pole. The sensors detecting neutrinos are attached to the strings lowered into the ice. The upgrade will take place in the Deep Core area. Illustration: IceCube/NSF

Neutrino Research:

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica is about to get a significant upgrade. This huge detector consists of 5,160 sensors embedded in a 1x1x1 km volume of glacial ice deep beneath the geographic South Pole. The purpose of the installation is to detect neutrinos, the “ghost particles” of the Universe. The IceCube Upgrade will add more than 700 new and enhanced optical sensors in the deepest, purest ice, greatly improving the observatory’s ability to measure low-energy neutrinos produced in the Earth’s atmosphere. The research in neutrinos at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen is led by Associate Professor Jason Koskinen

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From Michigan State University: “Upgrade for neutrino detector, thanks to NSF grant”

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The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, the Antarctic detector that identified the first likely source of high-energy neutrinos and cosmic rays, is getting an upgrade. Courtesy of IceCube

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, the Antarctic detector that identified the first likely source of high-energy neutrinos and cosmic rays, is getting an upgrade.

The National Science Foundation is upgrading the IceCube detector, extending its scientific capabilities to lower energies, and bridging IceCube to smaller neutrino detectors worldwide. The upgrade will insert seven strings of optical modules at the bottom center of the 86 existing strings, adding more than 700 new, enhanced optical modules to the 5,160 sensors already embedded in the ice beneath the geographic South Pole.

The upgrade will include two new types of sensor modules, which will be tested for a ten-times-larger future extension of IceCube – IceCube-Gen2. The modules to be deployed in this first extension will be two to three times more sensitive than the ones that make up the current detector. This is an important benefit for neutrino studies, but it becomes even more relevant for planning the larger IceCube-Gen2.

The $37 million extension, to be deployed during the 2022-23 polar field season, has now secured $23 million in NSF funding. Last fall, the upgrade office was set up, thanks to initial funding from NSF and additional support from international partners in Japan and Germany as well as from Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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From U Wisconsin IceCube: “The IceCube Upgrade: An international effort”

The IceCube Upgrade project is an international collaboration made possible not only by support from the National Science Foundation but also thanks to significant contributions from partner institutions in the U.S. and around the world. Our national and international collaborators play a huge role in manufacturing new sensors, developing firmware, and much more. Learn more about a few of our partner institutions below.

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The Chiba University group poses with one of the new D-Egg optical detectors. Credit: Chiba University

Chiba University is responsible for the new D-Egg optical detectors, 300 of which will be deployed on the new Upgrade strings. A D-Egg is 30 percent smaller than the original IceCube DOM, but its photon detection effective area is twice as large thanks to two 8-inch PMTs in the specially designed egg-shaped vessel made of UV-transparent glass. Its up-down symmetric detection efficiency is expected to improve our precision for measuring Cherenkov light from neutrino interactions. The newly designed flasher devices in the D-Egg will also give a better understanding of optical characteristics in glacial ice to improve the resolution of arrival directions of cosmic neutrinos.

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From DESY: “Neutrino observatory IceCube receives significant upgrade”

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Deep down in the perpetual ice of Antarctica IceCube watches out for a faint bluish glow that indicates a rare collision of a cosmic neutrino within the ice. Artist’s concept: DESY, Science Communication Lab

Particle detector at the South Pole will be expanded to comprise a neutrino laboratory

The international neutrino observatory IceCube at the South Pole will be considerably expanded in the coming years. In addition to the existing 5160 sensors, a further 700 optical modules will be installed in the perpetual ice of Antarctica. The National Science Foundation in the USA has approved 23 million US dollars for the expansion. The Helmholtz Centres DESY and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are supporting the construction of 430 new optical modules with a total of 5.7 million euros (6.4 million US dollars), which will turn the observatory into a neutrino laboratory. IceCube, for which Germany with a total of nine participating universities and the two Helmholtz Centres is the most important partner after the USA, had published convincing indications last year of a first source of high-energy neutrinos from the cosmos.

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IceCube is a particle detector at the South Pole that records the interactions of a nearly massless sub-atomic particle called the neutrino. IceCube searches for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars. The IceCube telescope is a powerful tool to search for dark matter, and could reveal the new physical processes associated with the enigmatic origin of the highest energy particles in nature. In addition, exploring the background of neutrinos produced in the atmosphere, IceCube studies the neutrinos themselves; their energies far exceed those produced by accelerator beams. IceCube is the world’s largest neutrino detector, encompassing a cubic kilometer of ice.

IceCube employs more than 5000 detectors lowered on 86 strings into almost 100 holes in the Antarctic ice NSF B. Gudbjartsson, IceCube Collaboration

Lunar Icecube

IceCube DeepCore annotated

IceCube PINGU annotated


DM-Ice II at IceCube annotated