First air-shower measurements with the prototype station of the IceCube surface enhancement
July 22, 2021
IceTop, the surface array of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, consists of 162 ice-Cherenkov tanks distributed over an area of 1km$^2$. Besides being used as a veto for the in-ice neutrino detector, IceTop is a powerful cosmic-ray detector. In the upcoming years, the capabilities of the IceTop array will be enhanced by augmenting the existing ice-Cherenkov tanks with an array of elevated scintillator panels and radio antennas. Combining the data obtained from the different detectors will improve the reconstruction of cosmic-ray energy and primary mass while reducing the energy threshold and increasing the aperture of the array. In January 2020, a prototype station consisting of 8 scintillation detectors and 3 antennas was deployed at the IceTop site. The prototype detectors are connected to one data-acquisition system and the readout of the radio antennas is triggered using the signals from the scintillators. This allows us to regularly observe secondary air shower particles hitting the scintillators, as well as the radio emission of high-energy air showers. In this contribution, we will discuss the results obtained from the prototype station in the past year, present the first cosmic-ray air showers measured with this prototype station, and show how the observations with the different detector types complement each other.
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