Exploration of the Potential of the Radio-Detection Technique for the Detection of High-Energy Gamma Rays
2019 July 22
The radio detection of atmospheric particle showers initiated by ultra-high energy cosmic rays is today a proven technique that allows to reconstruct their properties (direction of arrival, energy, nature). Among the precursors of this method, the CODALEMA experiment installed at the Nançay radio-astronomy Observatory has contributed to several major technological innovations relevant for the radio detection technique (autonomous triggering, hybrid reconstruction, very wide frequency bands) and its high-performance antennas are also used on the NenuFAR radio telescope in Nançay. We propose to exploit the unique environment of the Nan\c cay Observatory through the CODALEMA experiment and the NenuFAR radio-telescope to explore the possibilities of radio-detection of atmospheric showers initiated by very high energy photons. The central idea is to phase a large set of antennas (several tens) in the direction of known sources emitting gamma (catalogs H.E.S.S., MAGIC, VERITAS, Fermi-LAT ...) to significantly increase the sensitivity of detection and to use the triggering capabilities on ultra fast transients controlled within the framework of CODALEMA. This would make it possible to observe the sources with a useful cycle close to 100 %. We present here the intended instrumental scheme as well as the expected signal level and some first results obtained on the observation of cosmic ray air showers with NenuFAR.