In situ radioglaciological measurements near Taylor Dome, Antarctica and implications for ultra-high energy (UHE) neutrino astronomy

D. Z. Besson, J. Jenkins, S. Matsuno, J. Nam, M. Smith, S. W. Barwick, J. J. Beatty, W. R. Binns, C. Chen, P. Chen, J. M. Clem, A. Connolly, P. F. Dowkontt, M. A. DuVernois, R. C. Field, D. Goldstein, P. W. Gorham, A. Goodhue, C. Hast, C. L. HebertS. Hoover, M. H. Israel, J. Kowalski, J. G. Learned, K. M. Liewer, J. T. Link, E. Lusczek, B. Mercurio, C. Miki, P. Miočinović, C. J. Naudet, J. Ng, R. Nichol, K. Palladino, K. Reil, A. Romero-Wolf, M. Rosen, L. Ruckman, D. Saltzberg, D. Seckel, G. S. Varner, D. Walz, F. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Radiowave detection of the Cherenkov radiation produced by neutrino-ice collisions requires an understanding of the radiofrequency (RF) response of cold polar ice. We herein report on a series of radioglaciological measurements performed approximately 10 km north of Taylor Dome Station, Antarctica from December 6, 2006-December 16, 2006. Using RF signals broadcast from: (a) an englacial discone, submerged to a depth of 100 m and broadcasting to a surface dual-polarization horn receiver, and (b) a dual-polarization horn antenna on the surface transmitting signals which reflect off the underlying bed and back up to the surface receiver, we have made time-domain estimates of both the real (index-of-refraction "n") and imaginary (attenuation length "Latten") components of the complex ice dielectric constant. We have also measured the uniformity of ice response along two orthogonal axes in the horizontal plane. We observe an apparent wavespeed asymmetry of order 0.1% between two orthogonal linear polarizations projected into the horizontal plane, consistent with some previous measurements, but somewhat lower than others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-157
Number of pages28
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ANITA is supported under NASA Grant NAG5-5387. We also thank the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs for support under grant NSF OPP-0338219, the Research Corporation, the University of Kansas Undergraduate Research Award Program, and the NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. We thank the NASA LDB program, and in particular W. Vernon Jones, for providing the support necessary for establishment of our field camp. We thank Phil Austin, RPSC and Fixed Wing support for their superb logistical assistance. Jessica Walker provided important surface and bedrock elevation data while we were in the field. We thank the members of the ITASE traverse for their assistance in establishing our field camp, drilling the hole used for our in-ice transmission, and providing the density data from the borehole. Particulary, we thank Steve Arcone, Daniel Dixon, Paul Mayewski, and Bryan Welch. Bryan Welch also provided essential guidance in assessing the bottom reflection. Ken Ratzlaff of the KUIDL lab provided the instrumentation necessary for the temperature profile measurements. DZB wishes to thank his RICE colleagues for useful conversations regarding the birefringence measurement.


  • Askaryan effect
  • Radioglaciology
  • Ultra-high energy neutrino detection


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