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      Neutrino vertex reconstruction with in-ice radio detectors using surface reflections and implications for the neutrino energy resolution

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          Abstract

          Ultra high energy neutrinos (\(E_\nu > 10^{16.5}\)eV\()\) are efficiently measured via radio signals following a neutrino interaction in ice. An antenna placed \(\mathcal{O}\)(15 m) below the ice surface will measure two signals for the vast majority of events (90% at \(E_\nu\)=\(10^{18}\)eV\()\): a direct pulse and a second delayed pulse from a reflection off the ice surface. This allows for a unique identification of neutrinos against backgrounds arriving from above. Furthermore, the time delay between the direct and reflected signal (D'n'R) correlates with the distance to the neutrino interaction vertex, a crucial quantity to determine the neutrino energy. In a simulation study, we derive the relation between time delay and distance and study the corresponding experimental uncertainties in estimating neutrino energies. We find that the resulting contribution to the energy resolution is well below the natural limit set by the unknown inelasticity in the initial neutrino interaction. We present an in-situ measurement that proves the experimental feasibility of this technique. Continuous monitoring of the local snow accumulation in the vicinity of the transmit and receive antennas using this technique provide a precision of \(\mathcal{O}\)(1 mm) in surface elevation, which is much better than that needed to apply the D'n'R technique to neutrinos.

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          Most cited references 6

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          South Polar in situ radio-frequency ice attenuation

          We have determined the in situ electric field attenuation length Lα (defined as the length over which the signal amplitude diminishes by a factor 1/e) for radio-frequency signals broadcast vertically through South Polar ice and reflected off the underlying bed. Conservatively assuming a bedrock field reflectivity for f = 380 MHz, and T = –50°C; the errors incorporate uncertainties in R. This value is consistent with previous estimates that the radiofrequency attenuation length exceeds the attenuation length at optical frequencies by an order of magnitude.
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            Electron and photon interactions in the regime of strong Landau-Pomeranchuk-Migdal suppression

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              Observing and Modeling Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance

              Abstract Surface mass balance (SMB) provides mass input to the surface of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets and therefore comprises an important control on ice sheet mass balance and resulting contribution to global sea level change. As ice sheet SMB varies highly across multiple scales of space (meters to hundreds of kilometers) and time (hourly to decadal), it is notoriously challenging to observe and represent in models. In addition, SMB consists of multiple components, all of which depend on complex interactions between the atmosphere and the snow/ice surface, large‐scale atmospheric circulation and ocean conditions, and ice sheet topography. In this review, we present the state‐of‐the‐art knowledge and recent advances in ice sheet SMB observations and models, highlight current shortcomings, and propose future directions. Novel observational methods allow mapping SMB across larger areas, longer time periods, and/or at very high (subdaily) temporal frequency. As a recent observational breakthrough, cosmic ray counters provide direct estimates of SMB, circumventing the need for accurate snow density observations upon which many other techniques rely. Regional atmospheric climate models have drastically improved their simulation of ice sheet SMB in the last decade, thanks to the inclusion or improved representation of essential processes (e.g., clouds, blowing snow, and snow albedo), and by enhancing horizontal resolution (5–30 km). Future modeling efforts are required in improving Earth system models to match regional atmospheric climate model performance in simulating ice sheet SMB, and in reinforcing the efforts in developing statistical and dynamic downscaling to represent smaller‐scale SMB processes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                05 September 2019
                Article
                1909.02677

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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                astro-ph.IM

                Instrumentation & Methods for astrophysics

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