Calibration of the surface array of the Pierre Auger Observatory

X. Bertou, P. S. Allison, C. Bonifazi, P. Bauleo, C. M. Grunfeld, M. Aglietta, F. Arneodo, D. Barnhill, J. J. Beatty, N. G. Busca, A. Creusot, D. Dornic, A. Etchegoyen, A. Filevitch, P. L. Ghia, I. Lhenry-Yvon, M. C. Medina, E. Moreno, D. Nitz, T. OhnukiS. Ranchon, H. Salazar, T. Suomijärvi, D. Supanitsky, A. Tripathi, M. Urban, L. Villasenor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Pierre Auger Observatory is designed to study cosmic rays of the highest energies (> 1019 eV). The ground array of the Observatory will consist of 1600 water Cherenkov detectors deployed over 3000 km2. The remoteness and large number of detectors require a robust, automatic self-calibration procedure. It relies on the measurement of the average charge collected by a photomultiplier tube from the Cherenkov light produced by a vertical and central through-going muon, determined to 5-10% at the detector via a novel rate-based technique and to 3% precision through analysis of histograms of the charge distribution. The parameters needed for the calibration are measured every minute, allowing for an accurate determination of the signals recorded from extensive air showers produced by primary cosmic rays. The method also enables stable and uniform triggering conditions to be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-846
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Atmospheric muons
  • Calibration
  • Ultra high-energy cosmic rays
  • Water Cherenkov detectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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