Nanosecond-level time synchronization of AERA using a beacon reference transmitter and commercial airplanes
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institut für Kernphysik (IKP), Karlsruhe, Germany
Published online: 15 March 2017
Radio detection of cosmic-ray air showers requires time synchronization of detectors on a nanosecond level, especially for advanced reconstruction algorithms based on the wavefront curvature and for interferometric analysis approaches. At the Auger Engineering Radio Array, the distributed, autonomous detector stations are time-synchronized via the Global Positioning System which, however, does not provide sufficient timing accuracy. We thus employ a dedicated beacon reference transmitter to correct for eventby-event clock drifts in our offline data analysis. In an independent cross-check of this “beacon correction” using radio pulses emitted by commercial airplanes, we have shown that the combined timing accuracy of the two methods is better than 2 nanoseconds.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.