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31.
A novel tool for the absolute end-to-end calibration of fluorescence telescopes : the XY-scanner
Christoph Schäfer, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Pierre Auger Observatory uses 27 large-aperture wide-angle Schmidt telescopes to measure the longitudinal profile of air showers using the air-fluorescence technique. Up to the year 2013, the absolute calibration of the telescopes was performed by mounting a uniform large-diameter light source on each of the telescopes and illuminating the entire aperture with a known photon flux. Due to the high amount of work and person-power required, this procedure was only carried out roughly once every three years, and a relative calibration was performed every night to track short-term changes. Since 2013, only the relative calibration has been performed. In this paper, we present a novel tool for the absolute end-to-end calibration of the fluorescence detectors, the XY-Scanner. The XY-Scanner uses a portable integrating sphere as a light source, which has been absolutely calibrated. This light source is installed onto a motorized rail system and moved across the aperture of each telescope. We mimic the illumination of the entire aperture by flashing the light source at ∼1700 positions evenly distributed across the telescope aperture. For the absolute calibration of the light source, we built a dedicated setup that uses a NIST-calibrated photodiode to measure the average photon flux and a PMT to track the pulse-to-pulse stability. We present the laboratory setups used to study the characteristics of the employed light sources and discuss the inter-calibration between selected telescopes.
Keywords: ultra-high energy cosmic rays, Pierre Auger Observatory, fluorescence detectors, longitudinal profile
Published in RUNG: 23.01.2024; Views: 848; Downloads: 6
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32.
A new cross-check and review of aerosol attenuation measurements at the Pierre Auger Observatory
Violet M. Harvey, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The distribution of aerosols in the atmosphere above cosmic ray fluorescence detectors must be well characterised in order to precisely recover extensive air shower properties such as the calorimetric energy, �, and depth of shower maximum, �max. The Pierre Auger Observatory uses two centrally located laser facilities to measure the vertical aerosol optical depth profile (VAOD) every hour. It is assumed that the night with the clearest atmosphere each year is effectively aerosol free and that it is an appropriate reference to set the absolute scale of VAOD throughout that year. We review the successes of this method and its associated sources of systematic uncertainty, then present a new cross-check of measured VAOD using air shower events observed in stereo mode. Special attention is paid to quantifying the uncertainties on this result. As the technique is only sensitive to VAOD bias at a fixed altitude, we combine it with a study of aerosol profiles independently measured using a less-sensitive Raman lidar system. This allows us to derive a complete model of the upper limit on the possible bias in the average measured VAOD, which we attribute primarily to an uncertainty on whether the annual reference nights are completely aerosol free. We formulate a correction for this bias and apply it retroactively to all VAOD measurements, then repeat the analysis of the complete air shower dataset and discuss the small but significant effect of this new correction on � and �max. This correction is now fully integrated into the Auger analysis chain.
Keywords: ultra-high energy cosmic rays, Pierre Auger Observatory, fluoresecnce detectors, Xmax
Published in RUNG: 22.01.2024; Views: 761; Downloads: 5
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33.
Combined fit to the spectrum and composition data measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory including magnetic horizon effects
Juan Manuel González, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The measurements by the Pierre Auger Observatory of the energy spectrum and mass composition of cosmic rays can be interpreted assuming the presence of two extragalactic source populations, one dominating the flux at energies above a few EeV and the other below. To fit the data ignoring magnetic field effects, the high-energy population needs to accelerate a mixture of nuclei with very hard spectra, at odds with the approximate �−2 shape expected from diffusive shock acceleration. The presence of turbulent extragalactic magnetic fields in the region between the closest sources and the Earth can significantly modify the observed CR spectrum with respect to that emitted by the sources, reducing the flux of low-rigidity particles that reach the Earth. We here take into account this magnetic horizon effect in the combined fit of the spectrum and shower depth distributions, exploring the possibility that a spectrum for the high-energy population sources with a shape closer to �^(−2) be able to explain the observations. We find that a large inter-source separation �s and a large magnetic field RMS amplitude within the Local Supercluster region, such that �rms ≃ 100 nG (40 Mpc/�s) √︁25 kpc/�coh, are needed to interpret the data within this scenario, where �coh is the magnetic field coherence length.
Keywords: ultra-high energy cosmic rays, Pierre Auger Observatory, mass composition, extragalactic magnetic fiels
Published in RUNG: 22.01.2024; Views: 730; Downloads: 6
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34.
Long-term calibration and stability of the Auger Engineering Radio Array using the diffuse Galactic radio emission
R. M. de Almeida, Andrej Filipčič, Jonathan Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA), part of the Pierre Auger Observatory, is currently the largest facility to measure radio emissions from ultra-high energy extensive air showers. It comprises 153 autonomous radio-detector stations, covering an area of 17 km^2, and measures radio waves in the frequency range from 30 to 80 MHz. An accurate description of the detector response is necessary to interpret the data collected by the stations correctly. Previously, this was achieved by measuring the analog chain in the laboratory and simulating and measuring the directional response of the antenna. In this work, we perform an absolute calibration using the continuously monitored sidereal modulation of the diffuse Galactic radio emission. The calibration is performed by comparing the average spectra recorded by the stations with a model of the full radio sky propagated through the system response, including the antenna, filters, and amplifiers. We describe the method to determine the calibration constants for each antenna and present the corresponding results. Furthermore, the behavior of the calibration constants is studied as a function of time. There is no relevant aging effect over a timescale of a decade, which shows that radio detectors could help monitor possible aging effects of other detector systems during long-term operations, stressing their importance in determining an absolute energy scale.
Keywords: pierre auger observatory, auger engineering radio array, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, radio detectors
Published in RUNG: 22.01.2024; Views: 824; Downloads: 34
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35.
Mass composition from 3 EeV to 100 EeV using the depth of the maximum of air-shower profiles estimated with deep learning using surface detector data of the Pierre Auger Observatory
Jonas Glombitza, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: We present a new analysis for estimating the depth of the maximum of air-shower profiles, �max, to investigate the evolution of the ultra-high-energy cosmic ray mass composition from 3 to 100 EeV. We use a recently developed deep-learning-based technique for the reconstruction of �max from the data of the surface detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory. To avoid systematic uncertainties arising from hadronic interaction models in the simulation of surface detector data, we calibrate the new reconstruction technique with observations of the fluorescence detector. Using the novel analysis, we have a 10-fold increase of statistics at � > 5 EeV with respect to fluorescence detector data. We are able, for the first time, to study the evolution of the mean and standard deviation of the �max distributions up to 100 EeV. We find an excellent agreement with fluorescence observations and confirm the increase of the mean logarithmic mass ⟨ln(�)⟩ and a decrease of the �max fluctuations with energy. The �max measurement at the highest — so far inaccessible — energies is consistent with a pure mass composition and a mean logarithmic mass of around ∼ 3 (estimated using the Sibyll 2.3d and the EPOS-LHC hadronic interaction models). Furthermore, with the increase in statistics, we find indications for a structure beyond a constant elongation rate in the evolution of �max.
Keywords: ultra-high energy cosmic rays, Pierre Auger Observatory, surface detector, flourescence detector
Published in RUNG: 22.01.2024; Views: 750; Downloads: 6
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36.
Monitoring the inter-calibration of the HEAT and Coihueco fluorescence telescopes of the Pierre Auger Observatory with measurements of the brightness of the night sky
Alberto Segreto, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The High Elevation Auger Telescopes (HEAT) has increased the Field of View (FoV) of the Fluorescence Detector (FD) at the Coihueco site of the Pierre Auger Observatory and allowed the extension of the energy threshold for the measurements of energies and �max of Extensive Air Showers (EAS) down to ≈ 1017.2 eV. By temporarily orienting HEAT in the downward position, it acquires data in the same FoV as the other Coihueco telescopes, thus providing the opportunity to intercalibrate the detectors by multiple observations of the same EAS. To further control systematic uncertainties in �max and energy measurements, in this contribution we present an innovative method that takes advantage of the Night Sky Brightness (NSB) continuously measured with the FD data acquisition system for monitoring a possible evolution in time of the initial HEAT and Coihueco inter-calibration. While the brightness of the night sky evolves unpredictably and is highly dependent on local weather conditions, we expect to obtain consistent measurements from telescopes located at the same site and observing the same direction of the sky. In this work, we describe the method used to compare the NSB measured by the neighboring HEAT and Coihueco telescopes to monitor the stability of their relative calibration over time. This method allows us to study further the systematics in the inter-calibration of the FD telescopes.
Keywords: ultra-high energy cosmic rays, Pierre Auger Observatory, night sky brightness, high elevation Auger telescopes
Published in RUNG: 22.01.2024; Views: 780; Downloads: 5
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37.
Investigations of a novel energy estimator using deep learning for the surface detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory
Fiona Ellwanger, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Exploring physics at energies beyond the reach of human-built accelerators by studying cosmic rays requires an accurate reconstruction of their energy. At the highest energies, cosmic rays are indirectly measured by observing a shower of secondary particles produced by their interaction in the atmosphere. At the Pierre Auger Observatory, the energy of the primary particle is either reconstructed from measurements of the emitted fluorescence light, produced when secondary particles travel through the atmosphere, or shower particles detected with the surface detector at the ground. The surface detector comprises a triangular grid of water-Cherenkov detectors that measure the shower footprint at the ground level. With deep learning, large simulation data sets can be used to train neural networks for reconstruction purposes. In this work, we present an application of a neural network to estimate the energy of the primary particle from the surface detector data by exploiting the time structure of the particle footprint. When evaluating the precision of the method on air shower simulations, we find the potential to significantly reduce the composition bias compared to methods based on fitting the lateral signal distribution. Furthermore, we investigate possible biases arising from systematic differences between simulations and data.
Keywords: ultra-high energy cosmic rays, Pierre Auger Observatory, surface detector, neural network
Published in RUNG: 22.01.2024; Views: 696; Downloads: 4
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38.
Constraining models for the origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays with spectrum, composition, and arrival direction data measured at the Pierre Auger Observatory
Teresa Bister, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The distribution of cosmic-ray arrival directions shows a better agreement with models in which a fraction of the flux is associated with catalogs of nearby source candidates, such as starburst galaxies, than with isotropy. To investigate this further, we use a novel approach, fitting simultaneously the energy spectrum, distributions of shower maxima, and arrival directions at the highest energies measured with the Pierre Auger Observatory. The astrophysical model consists of homogeneously distributed background sources as well as an adaptable contribution from nearby source candidates. Propagation effects and a rigidity-dependent magnetic field blurring are taken into account, producing a rising level of anisotropy with the energy. We demonstrate that a model containing a flux fraction of around 20% from the starburst galaxy catalog at 40 EeV, with a hard, nitrogen-dominated injection spectrum, provides a good description of the data. By investigating a scenario with Cen A as a single source in combination with the homogeneous background, we show that this region of the sky provides the dominant part to the observed anisotropy signal. Models based on jetted active galactic nuclei whose cosmic-ray flux scales with the gamma-ray emission are disfavored. The modeled energy evolution of the arrival directions, the spectra of individual sources, as well as the statistical significance of the results, including the influence of experimental systematic effects, will be discussed in this contribution.
Keywords: anisotropies, Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic-rays, arrival directions
Published in RUNG: 22.01.2024; Views: 822; Downloads: 4
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39.
An update on the arrival direction studies made with data from the Pierre Auger Observatory
Geraldina Golup, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The search for anisotropies in the arrival directions of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays plays a key role in the efforts to understand their origin. The observed first-harmonic modulation in right ascension above 8 EeV, detected by the Pierre Auger Observatory with a current significance of 6.9�, suggests an extragalactic origin above this energy. Furthermore, there are indications, at the ∼4� significance level, of anisotropies at intermediate angular scales, which are obtained when comparing the arrival directions against the distribution of potential sources from astrophysical catalogs, in particular that of nearby starburst galaxies, and around the Centaurus region. In this contribution, we present the status of the different searches for anisotropies at small, intermediate and large angular scales. We use the latest available data set, with 19 years of operation that has yielded 135,000 km^2 yr sr of accumulated exposure, covering the sky at declinations from −90◦ to 45◦. At small and intermediate scales, we report updates of the all-sky blind search for localized excesses, the study around the Centaurus region, and the likelihood analysis with catalogs of candidate sources. We have also studied the regions of the sky from which the Telescope Array Collaboration has reported hints of excesses in their data and we find no significant effects in the same directions with a data set of comparable size. At large angular scales, the dipolar and quadrupolar amplitudes in energy bins are updated. We discuss the prospects of these searches, both in regards to increases in statistics and in relation to the future inclusion of event-by-event mass estimators in these analyses through the upgrade of the Observatory, AugerPrime.
Keywords: anisotropies, Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic-rays, arrival directions
Published in RUNG: 22.01.2024; Views: 764; Downloads: 5
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40.
Depth of maximum of air-shower profiles : testing the compatibility of the measurements at the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array
A. Abdul Halim, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Pierre Auger Observatory (Auger) and the Telescope Array (TA), located, respectively, in the Southern and Northern hemispheres, are the largest ultra-high-energy cosmic ray (UHECR) observatories. The Auger and TA Collaborations have collected unprecedented statistics providing us with a unique opportunity to search for the differences between the UHECR energy spectra and mass compositions in the complementary sky regions. To correctly attribute such differences to the properties of the UHECR sources or propagation, the systematic effects in the measurements of each observatory should be considered properly. In this context, the task of the Auger – TA mass composition working group is to identify possible differences of astrophysical origin in the measurements of the depth of the maximum of air-shower profiles, X_max, performed at both observatories using the fluorescence technique. Due to distinct approaches to event selection and analysis atAuger and TA, theworking group uses a specially designed method to transfer the Auger X_max distributions into the TA detector. To this end, dedicated air-shower and detector simulations for the TA Black Rock Mesa and Long Ridge fluorescence detector stations were performed with the Sibyll 2.3d hadronic interaction model. From the comparison of the first two moments and the shapes of X_max distributions for energies above 10^18.2 eV, no significant differences between the Auger and TA measurements were found.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, Telescope Array, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, fluorescence detectors
Published in RUNG: 22.01.2024; Views: 877; Downloads: 5
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