Astroneu Array

Astroneu is an array of autonomous stations to detect Extensive Air Showers, which is deployed at the Hellenic Open University (HOU) campus on the outskirts of Patras in western Greece. The array was designed, constructed and operated by the Physics Laboratory of HOU. It was co-financed by the Research Funding Programs:

  • «THALIS – Hellenic Open University – Development and Applications of Novel Instrumentation and Experimental Methods in Astroparticle Physics» 
  • “Development of technological applications and experimental methods in Particle and Astroparticle Physics”, Hellenic Open University Grant No. ΦΚ228

In the first phase (2014-2017) of operation 9 scintillators detectors and 3 Radio Frequency (RF) antennas have been installed and operated at the site. The detector units are arranged in three autonomous stations each consisting of three scintillator detectors (SDM) and one RF antenna. A station is also equipped with trigger, digitization, Data Acquisition (DAQ) electronics, slow control and monitor electronics and GPS-based timing system. Furthermore, an extra station has also been installed in the premises of the HOU Physics Laboratory and it  is used for special calibration and operational tests.The three stations, which are currently installed at the Hellenic Open University campus in Patras, follow the arrangement shown in the following photo.

Layout of the Astroneu array installed at the Hellenic Open University campus. The geodesic coordinates of the stations centers are as follows: Station-A (38°12’22.69”N, 21°45’52.60”E), Station-B (38°12’22.49”N, 21°45’59.32”E), Station-C (38°12’29.62”N, 21°45’42.36”E). The red rectangular boxes indicate the position of the SDMs while blue circles the position of the RFAs. In the inset photograph the 4th station (Station-D) located 4km apart (coordinates 38°14’40.56”N, 21°43’47,55”E) from the other three is also shown.

In the second phase of operation (2017-2020) 3 more antennas were deployed at station A in order to study the correlation of the RF signals from 4 antennas subject to the same shower event.

The layout of Astroneu’s station-A. The 3 SDMs are marked with blue squares, while the 4 RF antennas with red circles.

Since 2020 a new array is designed, which will cover the whole area of the university campus. The particle detectors as well as the RF antennas of this system are designed and constructed by the Physics Laboratory of HOU (link). In addition the DAQ system is redesigned and is based on VME and NIM modules capable of full waveform recording both from particle detectors and the RF antennas. The array is expected to be in operation in 2022.

Details of the Astroneu hardware and Software are here