NOY: a neutrino observatory network project based on stand alone air shower detector arrays
08 Sep 2011
1Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et de Cosmologie, IN2P3/CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, 53 Avenue des Martyrs, 38026 Grenoble, France
Abstract. We have developed a self powered stand alone particle detector array dedicated to the observation of horizontal tau air showers induced by high energy neutrinos interacting in mountain rock. Air shower particle detection reaches a 100% duty cycle and is practically free of background when compared to Cherenkov light or radio techniques. It is thus better suited for rare neutrino event search. An appropriate mountain to valley topological configuration has been identified and the first array will be deployed on an inclined slope at an elevation of 1500 m facing Southern Alps near the city of Grenoble (France). A full simulation has been performed. A neutrino energy dependent mountain tomography chart is obtained using a neutrino and tau propagation code together with a detailed cartography and elevation map of the region. The array acceptance is then evaluated between 1 PeV and 100 EeV by simulating decaying tau air showers across the valley. The effective detection surface is determined by the shower lateral extension at array location and is hence much larger than the array geometrical area. The array exposure will be 1014 cm2 sr s at 100 PeV.
Several independent arrays can be deployed with the aim of constituting a large distributed observatory. Some other sites are already under study. At last, special care is dedicated to the educational and outreach aspects of such a cosmic ray detector.