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Studies of the UHECR Mass Composition and Hadronic Interactions with the FD and SD of the Pierre Auger Observatory
J.M. Carceller, Andrej Filipčič, Gašper Kukec Mezek, Ahmed Saleh, Samo Stanič, Marta Trini, Serguei Vorobiov, Lili Yang, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2019, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: With data on the depth of maximum Xmax collected during more than a decade of operation of the Pierre Auger Observatory, we report on the inferences on the mass composition of UHECRs in the energy range E = 10[sup]17.2 − 10[sup]19.6 eV and on the measurements of the proton-air cross section for energies up to 10[sup]18.5 eV. We also present the results on Xmax obtained using the information on the particle arrival times recorded by the SD stations allowing us to extend the Xmax measurements up to 10[sup]20 eV. The inferences on mass composition, in particular using the data of the SD, are subject to systematic uncertainties due to uncertainties in the description of hadronic interactions at ultra-high energies. We discuss this problem with respect to the properties of the muonic component of extensive air-showers as derived from the SD data.
Keywords: ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs), extensive air showers (EAS), EAS muonic component, EAS electromagnetic component, Pierre Auger Observatory, UHECR mass composition, UHECR hadronic interactions
Published in RUNG: 11.10.2023; Views: 528; Downloads: 8
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Calibration of the underground muon detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory
A. Aab, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Samo Stanič, Marta Trini, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: To obtain direct measurements of the muon content of extensive air showers with energy above 10[sup]16.5 eV, the Pierre Auger Observatory is currently being equipped with an underground muon detector (UMD), consisting of 219 10 m[sup]2-modules, each segmented into 64 scintillators coupled to silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs). Direct access to the shower muon content allows for the study of both of the composition of primary cosmic rays and of high-energy hadronic interactions in the forward direction. As the muon density can vary between tens of muons per m[sup]2 close to the intersection of the shower axis with the ground to much less than one per m[sup]2 when far away, the necessary broad dynamic range is achieved by the simultaneous implementation of two acquisition modes in the read-out electronics: the binary mode, tuned to count single muons, and the ADC mode, suited to measure a high number of them. In this work, we present the end-to-end calibration of the muon detector modules: first, the SiPMs are calibrated by means of the binary channel, and then, the ADC channel is calibrated using atmospheric muons, detected in parallel to the shower data acquisition. The laboratory and field measurements performed to develop the implementation of the full calibration chain of both binary and ADC channels are presented and discussed. The calibration procedure is reliable to work with the high amount of channels in the UMD, which will be operated continuously, in changing environmental conditions, for several years.
Keywords: ultra-high energy cosmic rays, extensive air showers (EAS), EAS muonic component, Pierre Auger Observatory, underground muon detector, detector calibration
Published in RUNG: 14.04.2021; Views: 2565; Downloads: 138
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Initial results of a direct comparison between the Surface Detectors of the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array
R. Takeishi, Andrej Filipčič, Gašper Kukec Mezek, Ahmed Saleh, Samo Stanič, Marta Trini, Darko Veberič, Serguei Vorobiov, Lili Yang, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2015, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Pierre Auger Observatory (Auger) in Mendoza, Argentina and the Telescope Array (TA) in Utah, USA aim at unraveling the origin and nature of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECR). At present, there appear to be subtle differences between Auger and TA results and interpretations. Joint working groups have been established and have already reported preliminary findings. From an experimental standpoint, the Surface Detectors (SD) of both experiments make use of different detection processes not equally sensitive to the components of the extensive air showers making it to the ground. In particular, the muonic component of the shower measured at ground level can be traced back to the primary composition, which is critical for understanding the origin of UHECRs. In order to make direct comparisons between the SD detection techniques used by Auger and TA, a joint SD experimental research program is being developed. In the first phase, two Auger SD stations were deployed at the TA Central Laser Facility to compare station-level responses. This paper concentrates on the results obtained with the first Auger SD station (an “Auger North” design), which has been operating since October 2014. The second Auger SD station, identical to the ones being operated at Auger in Argentina (an “Auger South” design), was just deployed in June 2015. The second phase of this research program will be to co-locate six Auger North SD stations with TA stations in the field to compare event-level responses.
Keywords: Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays, Pierre Auger Observatory, Telescope Array, extensive air showers, secondary cosmic rays, muonic shower component, surface detectors
Published in RUNG: 08.03.2016; Views: 4573; Downloads: 188
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Upgrade of the Pierre Auger Observatory (AugerPrime)
Ralph Engel, Andrej Filipčič, Gašper Kukec Mezek, Ahmed Saleh, Samo Stanič, Marta Trini, Darko Veberič, Serguei Vorobiov, Lili Yang, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2015, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The data collected with the Pierre Auger Observatory have led to a number of surprising discoveries. While a strong suppression of the particle flux at the highest energies has been established unambiguously, the dominant physics processes related to this suppression could not be identified. Within the energy range covered by fluorescence detector observations with sufficient statistics, an unexpected change of the depth of maximum distribution is found. Using LHC-tuned interaction models these observations can be understood as a correlated change of the fluxes of different mass groups. On the other hand, they could also indicate a change of hadronic interactions above the energy of the ankle. Complementing the water Cherenkov detectors of the surface array with scintillator detectors will, mainly through the determination of the muonic shower component, extend the composition sensitivity of the Auger Observatory into the flux suppression region. The upgrade of the Auger Observatory will allow us to estimate the primary mass of the highest energy cosmic rays on a shower-by-shower basis. In addition to measuring the mass composition the upgrade will open the possibility to search for light primaries at the highest energies, to perform composition-selected anisotropy studies, and to search for new phenomena including unexpected changes of hadronic interactions. After introducing the physics motivation for upgrading the Auger Observatory the planned detector upgrade is presented. In the second part of the contribution the expected performance and improved physics sensitivity of the upgraded Auger Observatory are discussed.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, elemental composition sensitivity, Auger upgrade (AugerPrime), muonic shower component, scintillator detectors
Published in RUNG: 03.03.2016; Views: 4226; Downloads: 222
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