The SPICEcore Hole Camera System
2019 July 23
IceCube is a cubic-kilometer scale neutrino telescope located at the geographic South Pole. The detector utilizes the extremely transparent Antarctic ice as a medium for detecting Cherenkov radiation from neutrino interactions. As a result of extensive studies of the optical properties of ice, the light propagation in IceCube is well understood. The ice properties are, however, still dominant sources of detector systematic uncertainties in many IceCube analyses. We have designed a camera system to measure the optical properties of the Antarctic ice surrounding the SPICEcore hole that is an ice-core hole drilled down to 1.7~km near the IceCube detector. The device uses CMOS image sensors to measure the back-scattered light from bright LEDs pointing into the ice. Having a similar measurement principle, the device can also serve as a proof of concept of a camera system designed for the optical modules for IceCube Upgrade. During the 2018/2019 austral summer season, a prototype of the instrument was deployed in the ice-core hole. In this contribution, we present the hardware design of the camera system and the result of the first deployment at the South Pole.