Radio detection of cosmic ray induced air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory

Stefan Fliescher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


AERA - the Auger Engineering Radio Array - is currently being set up at the southern site of the Pierre Auger Observatory. AERA will explore the potential of the radio-detection technique to cosmic ray induced air showers with respect to the next generation of large-scale surface detectors. As AERA is co-located with the low-energy enhancements of the Pierre Auger Observatory, the observation of air showers in coincidence with the Auger surface and fluorescence detector will allow to study the radio emission processes in detail and to calibrate the radio signal. Finally, the combined reconstruction of shower parameters with three independent techniques promises new insights into the nature of cosmic rays in the transition region from 10 17 to 10 19 eV. Besides the detection of coherent radiation in the MHz frequency range, the setups AMBER - Air-shower Microwave Bremsstrahlung Experimental Radiometer - and MIDAS - MIcrowave Detection of Air Showers - prepare to check the possibility to detect air showers due the emission of molecular bremsstrahlung in the GHz range at the Auger site. This article presents the status of the radio-detection setups and discusses their physics potential as well as experimental challenges. Special focus is laid on the first stage of AERA which is the startup to the construction of a 20 km 2 radio array.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S124-S129
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2012


  • AERA
  • Air showers
  • Cosmic rays
  • Pierre Auger Observatory
  • Radio detection


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