Air-Shower Reconstruction at the Pierre Auger Observatory based on Deep Learning
July 22, 2019
The surface detector array of the Pierre Auger Observatory measures the footprint of air showers induced by ultra-high energy cosmic rays. The reconstruction of event-by-event information sensitive to the cosmic-ray mass, is a challenging task and so far mainly based on fluorescence detector observations with their duty cycle of $\approx 15 \%$.
Recently, great progress has been made in multiple fields of machine learning using deep neural networks and associated techniques. Applying these new techniques to air-shower physics opens up possibilities for improved reconstruction, including an estimation of the cosmic-ray composition.
In this contribution, we show that deep convolutional neural networks can be used for air-shower reconstruction, using surface-detector data. The focus of the machine-learning algorithm is to reconstruct depths of shower maximum. In contrast to traditional reconstruction methods, the algorithm learns to extract the essential information from the signal and arrival-time distributions of the secondary particles. We present the neural-network architecture, describe the training, and assess the performance using simulated air showers.
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