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The Giant Radio Array for Neutrino Detection (GRAND) is a proposed large-scale detector designed to collect ultra-high energy cosmic particles as cosmic rays, neutrinos and photons with energies exceeding 1017 eV. This project aims at solving the mystery of their origin and the early stages of the universe itself. The proposal, formulated by an international group of researchers, calls for an array of 200,000 receivers to be placed on mountain ranges around the world.

Overview

The GRAND detector would search for neutrinos, exotic particles emitted by some and the black holes in the center of galaxies. These neutrinos could help astronomers find the source of other energetic particles called ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. When neutrinos reach Earth, they often collide with particles either in the air or on the ground, creating showers of secondary particles. These secondary particles can be picked up by the radio antennas, which lets researchers calculate the trajectory of the initial neutrinos and trace them back to their source.[1][2] The concept was first published in 2017.[3]

The giant radio detector array would comprise 200,000 low-cost antennas in groups of 10,000 spread out over nearly 200,000 km2 (80,000 square miles) at different locations around the world.[2] This would make it the largest detector in the world. Construction, installation and networking the 200,000 antennae, would cost approximately $226 million,[1] excluding the price for renting the land and manpower.[4]

Principle

The strategy of GRAND is to detect the radio emission coming from particle showers that develop in the terrestrial atmosphere as a result of the interaction of ultra-high energy (UHE) cosmic rays, gamma rays, and neutrinos.[5] Astrophysical tau neutrinos (ντ) can be detected through extensive air showers (EAS) induced by tau (τ−) decays in the atmosphere.[3] The short-lived tau decays in the atmosphere generates an EAS that emits measurable electromagnetic emissions up to frequencies of hundreds of MHz.[3] The antennae are foreseen to operate in the 60-200 MHz band to avoid the short-wave background noise at lower frequencies.[3]

Each individual antenna is a simple Bow-tie design, featuring 3 perpendicular bows with an additional vertical arm to sample all three polarization directions.[5] Each antenna is mounted on a single 5-meter-tall pole, and each antenna in the grid is spaced at 1 km within a square grid. If the full array of 200,000 antennae is build, GRAND would reach an all-flavor sensitivity of 4 x10−10 GeV cm−2 s−1 sr−1 above 5 x1017 eV. Because of its sub-degree angular resolution, GRAND will also search for point sources of UHE neutrinos, steady and transient, potentially starting UHE neutrino astronomy, allowing for the discovery and follow-up of large numbers of radio transients, fast radio bursts, giant radio pulses, and for precise studies of the epoch of reionization.[5]

The researchers estimate that GRAND could allow not just the detection of neutrinos, but could also allow a differentiation of the source types, such as galaxy clusters with central sources, fast-spinning newborn pulsars, active galactic nuclei, and afterglows of gamma-ray bursts.[3]
Status

Simulation and experimental work is ongoing on technological development and background rejection strategies. Phase one is called GRANDProto35, that includes 35 antennas and 24 scintillators, deployed in the Tian Shan mountains in China.[3] If a pulse is observed simultaneously in the signals from three or more scintillators, the signals are recorded. As of October 2018, GRANDProto35 is in commissioning phase.[5] So far, the system achieves 100% detection efficiency for trigger rates up to 20 kHz.

The following step is planned for 2020, and its is a dedicated setup called GRANDProto300 within an area of 300 km2.[3] The baseline layout is a square grid with a 1 km inter-antenna spacing, just as for later stages. Because GRANDProto300 will not be large enough to detect cosmogenic neutrinos, the viability will be tested using instead extensive air showers initiated by very inclined cosmic rays, thus providing an opportunity to do cosmic-ray science.[5] The site would be hosted at the Chinese provinces of XinJiang, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, and Gansu.[5] If funded, the later phases would build GRAND10k in 2025, and finally GRAND200k (200,000 receivers) in the 2030s.[5]
See also

High-energy astronomy
List of neutrino experiments
Multi-messenger astronomy
Neutrino astronomy

References

Ryan F. Mandelbaum (31 October 2018). "Astronomers Propose Huge New Telescope System to Understand the Most Energetic Particles Ever Detected". Gizmodo.
Avery Thompson (31 October 2018). "Scientists Want to Build a Telescope the Size of Nebraska". Popular Mechanics.
Fang, Ke; Álvarez-Muñiz, Jaime; Rafael Alves Batista; et al. (2017). "The Giant Radio Array for Neutrino Detection (GRAND): Present and Perspectives". Proceedings of 35th International Cosmic Ray Conference — PoS(ICRC2017). p. 996.arXiv:1708.05128. doi:10.22323/1.301.0996.
GRAND - Home site: FAQ.
Fang, Ke; Álvarez-Muñiz, Jaime; Rafael Alves Batista; et al. (GRAND Collaboration) (2020). "The Giant Radio Array for Neutrino Detection (GRAND): Science and Design". Science China Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy. 63.arXiv:1810.09994. doi:10.1007/s11433-018-9385-7.

vte

Neutrino detectors, experiments, and facilities
Discoveries

Cowan–Reines ( ν e) Lederman–Schwartz–Steinberger ( ν μ) DONUT ( ν τ) Neutrino oscillation SN 1987 neutrino burst

Operating
(divided by
primary
neutrino
source)
Astronomical

ANITA ANTARES ASD BDUNT Borexino BUST HALO IceCube LVD NEVOD SAGE Super-Kamiokande SNEWS

Reactor

Daya Bay Double Chooz KamLAND RENO STEREO

Accelerator

ANNIE ICARUS (Fermilab) MicroBooNE MINERνA MiniBooNE NA61/SHINE NOνA NuMI T2K

0νββ

AMoRE COBRA CUORE EXO GERDA KamLAND-Zen MAJORANA NEXT PandaX SNO+ XMASS

Other

KATRIN WITCH

Construction

ARA ARIANNA Baikal-GVD BEST DUNE Hyper-Kamiokande JUNO KM3NeT SuperNEMO FASERν

Retired

AMANDA CDHS Chooz CNGS Cuoricino DONUT ERPM GALLEX Gargamelle GNO Heidelberg-Moscow Homestake ICARUS IGEX IMB K2K Kamiokande KARMEN KGF LSND MACRO MINOS MINOS+ NARC NEMO OPERA RICE SciBooNE SNO Soudan 2 Utah

Proposed

CUPID GRAND INO LAGUNA LEGEND LENA Neutrino Factory nEXO Nucifer SBND UNO JEM-EUSO WATCHMAN

Cancelled

DUMAND Project Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment NEMO Project NESTOR Project SOX BOREX

See also

BNO (Baksan or Baxan Neutrino Observatory) Kamioka Observatory LNGS SNOLAB List of neutrino experiments

Physics Encyclopedia

World

Index

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