The IceCube Upgrade - Design and Science Goals
2019 July 22
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the geographic South Pole has reached a number of milestones in the field of neutrino astrophysics. The achievements of IceCube include the discovery of a high-energy astrophysical neutrino flux, and the temporal and directional correlation of neutrinos with a flaring blazar. The IceCube Upgrade, which will be constructed in the 2022/23 Antarctic Summer season, is the next stage of the IceCube project. The IceCube Upgrade consists of seven new columns of photosensors, densely embedded near the bottom center of the existing cubic-kilometer-scale IceCube Neutrino Observatory. An improved atmospheric neutrino event selection efficiency and reconstruction at a few GeV can be achieved with the dense infill of the Upgrade's photosensor array. The Upgrade will provide world-leading sensitivity to neutrino oscillations and will enable IceCube to take unique measurements of tau neutrino appearance with a high precision. Furthermore, the new array will also improve the existing IceCube detector. The Upgrade strings will include new calibration devices designed to deepen the knowledge of the optical properties of glacial ice and the detector response. The improved calibration resulting from the Upgrade will be applied to the entire archive of IceCube data collected over the last 10 years, improving the angular and spatial resolution of the detected astrophysical neutrino events. Finally, the Upgrade represents the first stage in the development of IceCube-Gen2, the next-generation neutrino telescope at the South Pole.