Performance Studies of the Acoustic Module for the IceCube Upgrade
August 28, 2023
The IceCube Upgrade will augment the existing IceCube Neutrino Observatory by deploying 700
additional optical sensor modules and calibration devices within its center at a depth of 1.5 to
2.5 km in the Antarctic ice. One goal of the Upgrade is to improve the positioning calibration
of the optical sensors to increase the angular resolution for neutrino directional reconstruction.
An acoustic calibration system will be deployed to explore the capability of achieving this using
trilateration of propagation times of acoustic signals. Ten Acoustic Modules (AM) capable of
sending and receiving acoustic signals with frequencies from 5 to 30 kHz will be installed within
the detector volume. Additionally, compact acoustic sensors inside 15 optical sensor modules will
complement the acoustic calibration system. With this system, we aim for an accuracy of a few
tens of cm to localize the Acoustic Modules and sensors. Due to the longer attenuation length of
sound compared to light within the ice, acoustic position calibration is especially interesting for
the upcoming IceCube-Gen2 detector, which will have a string spacing of around 240 m. In this
contribution we present an overview of the technical design of the Acoustic Module as well as
results of performance tests with a first complete prototype.
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