Simulating radio emission of high-energy neutrinos

NAISS 2023/5-346


NAISS Medium Compute

Principal Investigator:

Christian Glaser


Uppsala universitet

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10305: Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology



The detection of ultra-high-energy (UHE) neutrinos is a key to solve the 100-year-old mystery of the origin of cosmic rays and one of the crucial milestones for astroparticle physics. Their detection gives access to the most violent phenomena in the universe, those that happen in the vicinity of super-massive black holes (active galactic nuclei), in neutron star mergers or gamma ray bursts. The only cost-efficient way to measure these UHE neutrinos is via a sparse array of radio antenna stations installed, for instance, in the Antarctic or Arctic ice: A neutrino interaction in the ice generates a few-nanoseconds long radio flash that can be detected from kilometer-long distances. The Radio Neutrino Observatory in Greenland (RNO-G) is currently being constructed. The first 7 (out of 35) stations were installed in summer 2021 and 2022. This detector will yield unprecedented sensitivity to ultra-high-energy neutrinos and might lead to the discovery of a flux of high energy neutrinos which will start a new era in astroparticle physics. A thorough simulation of the event signatures - which is requested in this application - is crucial to interpret the incoming data. At the same time, the international community is already designing an order-of-magnitude larger radio detector that will instrument more than a terra ton of ice below the South Pole. The detector will be part of the IceCube-Gen2 project, the successor of the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole. I am the simulation task leader of the IceCube-Gen2 radio detector. This computing project will simulate the detector and will iteratively optimize its design thus providing crucial input to the international project. I will use the state-of-the-art simulation code NuRadioMC [1,2] where I am the lead author of. The computing time will be used for several projects * optimization of the detector layout * optimization of the trigger * development of reconstruction and analysis techniques, in particular by using deep learning techniques * exploration of science cases This is a continuation of a previous computing grant that already allowed my group to make major contributions to the IceCube-Gen2 collaboration and led to several publications (see activity report). [1]: [2]: C. Glaser et al., "NuRadioMC: Simulating the radio emission of neutrinos from interaction to detector," European Physics Journal C 80, 77 (2020).