The upgrade of the Pierre Auger Observatory with the Scintillator Surface Detector.
July 28, 2021
Since its full commissioning in 2008, the Pierre Auger Observatory has consistently demonstrated its scientific productivity. A major upgrade of the Surface Detector array (SD) improves the capabilities of measuring the different components of extensive air showers. One of the elements of the upgrade consists of new Scintillator Surface Detectors (SSD) placed on top of the Water-Cherenkov stations of the SD. At the Observatory, the integration of the SSD components and their deployment in the array is well advanced.
In this paper, the main challenges and characteristics of the construction and installation will be reviewed. Started in 2016, an Engineering Array of twelve upgraded stations has been taking data in the field. In March 2019, a preproduction array of 77 SSDs started data acquisition with an adapted version of non-upgraded electronics. It is collecting events and proving the goodness of SSD design. Since December 2020, the upgraded electronics boards are being deployed in the field together with the photomultiplier tubes, increasing the number of SSD detectors, which are taking data continuosly with good stability. In this paper, the-long term performance of a subset of stations acquiring data for more than two years will be discussed. The data collected so far demonstrate the quality of the new detectors and the physics potential of the upgrade project
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