PoS - Proceedings of Science
Volume 444 - 38th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2023) - Cosmic-Ray Physics (Indirect, CRI)
Drone-borne calibration pulser for radio observatories detecting ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and neutrinos
C.Y. Kuo*, J. Nam, C.Y. Kuo, B.K. Shin, P. Chen, Y. Chen, S.Y. Hsu, J.J. Huang, C.H. Leung, T.C. Liu, S.H. Wang, M.Z. Wang, Y.H. Wang, D.Z. Besson, A. Novikov, C. Hornhuber and R. Young
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Pre-published on: August 09, 2023
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We report on the development of a drone-borne calibration pulser (cal-pulser) for radio observatories detecting ultra-high energy (UHE) cosmic rays and neutrinos. This system allows us to calibrate the radio detector in its field of view regardless of the accessibility of the site. The system is compact and lightweight to be attached to a commercial drone. It consists of a solid-state high-power pulse generator, a programmable attenuator, a transmitting antenna, and a differential GPS (D-GPS) module. The drone with the payload of around 1.3 kg has a typical flight time of around 25 minutes, corresponding to a maximum flight distance of around 10 km. We developed the first version of the system in 2019. It successfully demonstrated its calibration performance with the TAROGE stations in Taiwan and the TAROGE-M station in Mt. Melbourne, Antarctica. In 2022, the system was upgraded with a dual-band D-GPS for more reliable operation and accurate determination of the coordinate of the cal-pulser. In addition to the cal-pulser, we investigate aerial photogrammetry using the built-in camera and the D-GPS, which is an efficient method to determine the coordinate of the detector. For objects within 10 m from the drone, an accuracy of a few millimeter was achieved. These drone-borne cal-pulser and the photogrammetry have become essential calibration procedures in the TAROGE-M experiment. We suggest these approaches to many other radio experiments that detect UHE cosmic rays and neutrinos, such as ARIANNA, BEACON, GRAND, as well as IceCube-Gen2.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22323/1.444.0512
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