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Nanosecond-level time synchronization of autonomous radio detector stations for extensive air showers



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Arqueros Martínez, Fernando and García Pinto, Diego and Minaya Flores, Ignacio Andrés and Rosado Vélez, Jaime and Vázquez Peñas, José Ramón (2016) Nanosecond-level time synchronization of autonomous radio detector stations for extensive air showers. Journal of instrumentation (11). ISSN 1748-0221

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-0221/11/01/P01018


To exploit the full potential of radio measurements of cosmic-ray air showers at MHz frequencies, a detector timing synchronization within 1 ns is needed. Large distributed radio detector arrays such as the Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA) rely on timing via the Global Positioning System (GPS) for the synchronization of individual detector station clocks. Unfortunately, GPS timing is expected to have an accuracy no better than about 5 ns. In practice, in particular in AERA, the GPS clocks exhibit drifts on the order of tens of ns. We developed a technique to correct for the GPS drifts, and an independent method is used to cross-check that indeed we reach a nanosecond-scale timing accuracy by this correction. First, we operate a "beacon transmitter" which emits defined sine waves detected by AERA antennas recorded within the physics data. The relative phasing of these sine waves can be used to correct for GPS clock drifts. In addition to this, we observe radio pulses emitted by commercial airplanes, the position of which we determine in real time from Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcasts intercepted with a software-defined radio. From the known source location and the measured arrival times of the pulses we determine relative timing offsets between radio detector stations. We demonstrate with a combined analysis that the two methods give a consistent timing calibration with an accuracy of 2 ns or better. Consequently, the beacon method alone can be used in the future to continuously determine and correct for GPS clock drifts in each individual event measured by AERA.

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© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab srl.
Autoría conjunta: The Pierre Auger Collaboration. Artículo firmado por más de 10 autores.
The successful installation, commissioning, and operation of the Pierre Auger Observatory would not have been possible without the strong commitment and effort from the technical and administrative staff in Malargue. We are very grateful to the following agencies and organizations for financial support:; Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, Agencia Nacional de Promocion Cientifica y Tecnologica (ANPCyT), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET), Gobierno de la Provincia de Mendoza, Municipalidad de Malargue, NDM Holdings and Valle Las Lenas, in gratitude for their continuing cooperation over land access, Argentina; the Australian Research Council (DP150101622); Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq), Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP), Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Grants No. 2010/07359-6 and No. 1999/05404-3, Ministerio de Ciencia e Tecnologia (MCT), Brazil; Grant No. MSMT-CR LG13007, No. 7AMB14AR005, and the Czech Science Foundation Grant No. 14-17501S, Czech Republic; Centre de Calcul IN2P3/CNRS, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Conseil Regional Ile-de-France, Departement Physique Nucleaire et Corpusculaire (PNC-IN2P3/CNRS), Departement Sciences de l'Univers (SDU-INSU/CNRS), Institut Lagrange de Paris (ILP) Grant No. LABEX ANR-10-LABX-63, within the Investissements d'Avenir Programme Grant No. ANR-11-IDEX-0004-02, France; Bundesministerium fur Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Finanzministerium Baden-Wurttemberg, Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics (HAP), Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (HGF), Ministerium fur Wissenschaft und Forschung, Nordrhein Westfalen, Ministerium fur Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany; Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Universita e della Ricerca (MIUR), Gran Sasso Center for Astroparticle Physics (CFA), CETEMPS Center of Excellence, Ministero degli Affari Esteri (MAE), Italy; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT), Mexico; Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO), Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM), Netherlands; National Centre for Research and Development, Grants No. ERA-NET-ASPERA/01/11 and No. ERA-NET-ASPERA/02/11, National Science Centre, Grants No. 2013/08/M/ST9/00322, No. 2013/08/M/ST9/00728 and No. HARMONIA 5 - 2013/10/M/ST9/00062, Poland; Portuguese national funds and FEDER funds within Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade through Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (COMPETE), Portugal; Romanian Authority for Scientific Research ANCS, CNDI-UEFISCDI partnership projects Grants No. 20/2012 and No. 194/2012, Grants No. 1/ASPERA2/2012 ERA-NET, No. PN-II-RU-PD-2011-3-0145-17 and No. PN-II-RU-PD-2011-3-0062, the Minister of National Education, Programme Space Technology and Advanced Research (STAR), Grant No. 83/2013, Romania; Slovenian Research Agency, Slovenia; Comunidad de Madrid, FEDER funds, Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia, Xunta de Galicia, European Community 7th Framework Program, Grant No. FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF-328826, Spain; Science and Technology Facilities Council, United Kingdom; Department of Energy, Contracts No. DE-AC02-07CH11359, No. DE-FR02-04ER41300, No. DE-FG02-99ER41107 and No. DE-SC0011689, National Science Foundation, Grant No. 0450696, The Grainger Foundation, U.S.A.; NAFOSTED, Vietnam; Marie Curie-IRSES/EPLANET, European Particle Physics Latin American Network, European Union 7th Framework Program, Grant No. PIRSES-2009-GA-246806; and UNESCO.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Pattern recognition; Cluster finding; Calibration and fitting methods; Timing detectors; Detector alignment and calibration methods (lasers, sources, particle-beams)
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Nuclear physics
ID Code:39406
Deposited On:11 Nov 2016 15:39
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 14:57

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