The first measuring stations have been placed in the ice, but phase 1 of the installation of the antennas at the Summit station in Greenland will last until mid-August. The installation of the complete RNO-G observatory will take almost four summer seasons, as it involves a total of 35 stations with a mutual distance of 1.25 kilometers. The stations can operate independently and are connected via a wireless network.
Large volume of ice
The IceCube experiment is already looking for neutrinos in Antarctic ice, but using radar technology. The RNO-G project uses radio antennas and the advantage is that radio waves can travel much greater distances in ice.
“So this allows us to monitor a very large volume of ice at a lower cost and thus has a much greater chance of detecting such a rare neutrino collision. RNO-G will be the first large-scale radioneutrino detector, ”says Nick van Eijndhoven, full professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and initiator and leader of the project.
Neutrinos are extremely elusive ultralight elementary particles. Every second, for example, some 60 billion neutrinos from the sun fly undetected through an earth’s surface the size of a fingernail. In rare cases, for example during the passage of the Greenland ice cap, they become visible by collision of a neutrino and matter with an atom.
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