AMANDA-I is a water Cherenkov muon detector located 800-1000 m below the surface of the South Pole icecap. It consists of four vertical strings of detectors spaced 30 m apart; each string consists of 20 photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) at 10 m intervals. AMANDA-I was designed to reconstruct trajectories of neutrinos with energies >1 TeV by measuring the arrival times of Cherenkov photons emitted by neutrino-induced muons at a multiplicity of PMTs. Due to photon scattering off of bubbles in the ice, it cannot reliably reconstruct neutrino-induced muon trajectories. However, experience with AMANDA-I has established the feasibility of a PMT array in deeper polar ice and the ability to reconstruct cosmic-ray muon trajectories to within ~ 5^circ in zenith angle. AMANDA -I is being used for several cosmic-ray experiments and sets the stage for AMANDA-II, a larger instrument to be deployed in bubble-free ice. I calculate an area scale of 0.1 km^2 for a VHE neutrino detector based on the predicted flux of VHE neutrinos from a likely point source, the AGN Markarian 421. I describe my role in the construction and testing of preliminary strings, construction and deployment of the four-string array, and pressure and temperature measurements that show that South Pole ice is a stable detector medium. We measured a 240 m absorption length at 420 nm in ice and predict 40-60 m scattering lengths due to impurities. My monte-carlo simulations suggest that one can crudely measure cosmic-ray composition above 1014 eV using AMANDA -I in conjunction with SPASE, an air shower array; and that the absolute pointing accuracy of AMANDA can be calibrated using a muon beam from GASP, an air Cherenkov telescope. Finally, I describe a supernova detector with AMANDA-I and the preliminary design of AMANDA-II.
- Pub Date:
- January 1995
- Physics: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics: Optics