Title

The rapid atmospheric monitoring system of the Pierre Auger Observatory

Authors

P. Abreu, Instituto Superior Técnico
M. Aglietta, Università degli Studi di Torino
M. Ahlers, University of Wisconsin-Madison
E. J. Ahn, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
I. F.M. Albuquerque, Universidade de Sao Paulo - USP
D. Allard, APC - AstroParticule et Cosmologie
I. Allekotte, Instituto Balseiro
J. Allen, New York University
P. Allison, The Ohio State University
A. Almela, Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica Argentina
J. Alvarez Castillo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
J. Alvarez-Muñiz, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
R. Alves Batista, Universidade Estadual de Campinas
M. Ambrosio, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
A. Aminaei, Radboud University Nijmegen
L. Anchordoqui, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
S. Andringa, Instituto Superior Técnico
T. Antiči'c, Rudjer Boškovi'c Institute
C. Aramo, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
E. Arganda, Universidad Nacional de La Plata
F. Arqueros, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
H. Asorey, Instituto Balseiro
P. Assis, Instituto Superior Técnico
J. Aublin, Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et de Hautes Energies
M. Ave, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
M. Avenier, Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et de Cosmologie de Grenoble
G. Avila, Pierre Auger Observatory
A. M. Badescu, University Politehnica of Bucharest
M. Balzer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
K. B. Barber, The University of Adelaide
A. F. Barbosa, Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas
R. Bardenet, Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2012

Abstract

© 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab srl. The Pierre Auger Observatory is a facility built to detect air showers produced by cosmic rays above 1017 eV. During clear nights with a low illuminated moon fraction, the UV fluorescence light produced by air showers is recorded by optical telescopes at the Observatory. To correct the observations for variations in atmospheric conditions, atmospheric monitoring is performed at regular intervals ranging from several minutes (for cloud identification) to several hours (for aerosol conditions) to several days (for vertical profiles of temperature, pressure, and humidity). In 2009, the monitoring program was upgraded to allow for additional targeted measurements of atmospheric conditions shortly after the detection of air showers of special interest, e.g., showers produced by very high-energy cosmic rays or showers with atypical longitudinal profiles. The former events are of particular importance for the determination of the energy scale of the Observatory, and the latter are characteristic of unusual air shower physics or exotic primary particle types. The purpose of targeted (or "rapid") monitoring is to improve the resolution of the atmospheric measurements for such events. In this paper, we report on the implementation of the rapid monitoring program and its current status. The rapid monitoring data have been analyzed and applied to the reconstruction of air showers of high interest, and indicate that the air fluorescence measurements affected by clouds and aerosols are effectively corrected using measurements from the regular atmospheric monitoring program. We find that the rapid monitoring program has potential for supporting dedicated physics analyses beyond the standard event reconstruction.

Publication Title

Journal of Instrumentation

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