November 30, 2021

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, or simply IceCube, litt. “Ice cube” is a neutrino observatory built at the South Pole. Its thousands of sensors are located under the Antarctic ice, spread over a cubic kilometer. IceCube is made up of 5,484 optical detectors called digital optical modules, each containing a photomultiplier tube (PMT) and a data acquisition card that sends digital data to the acquisition station on the detector surface. These optical modules are deployed in lines of 60 modules each at depths of between 1,450 and 2,450 meters in holes melted in the ice using a hot water drill. IceCube deployment ended on December 18, 2010. IceCube is designed to search for astrophysical neutrinos. Indeed, its optical modules make it possible to detect the small number of photons emitted during the interaction of a high-energy neutrino around the detector. The spatial and temporal distribution of the light makes it possible to reconstruct the direction of the incident neutrino in order to identify its source. The identification of point sources of high energy neutrinos, in the TeV range, would make it possible to identify the sources of cosmic rays and to study the processes of acceleration of the latter. In November 2013, it was announced that IceCube had detected 28 neutrinos believed to be of astrophysical origin. These results have since been confirmed and refined.


IceCube is one of a series of projects developed and supervised by the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Members of the collaboration and funding come from many other universities and research institutes around the world. IceCube deployment was only possible during the Southern Antarctic Summer from November to February, when permanent sunlight allows 24-hour drilling. Construction began in 2005, when the first IceCube line was deployed and enough data was collected to verify that the optical sensors were functioning properly. During the 2005-2006 season, eight more lines were deployed, making IceCube the largest neutrino telescope in the world. The deployment continued until December 17, 2010 for a total of 86 lines. The total cost of the project is $ 279 million.


The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is made up of several sub-detectors in addition to the main lattice in the ice: AMANDA, the Antarctic Muon Neutrino Detector Array, was the first part built and served as a proof of concept for IceCube. AMANDA was deactivated in May 2009. The IceTop array is a series of Cherenkov detectors on the surface of the glacier, with approximately two detectors above each IceCube line. IceTop is used as a cosmic ray shower detector, for cosmic ray composition studies and coincident event testing: if a muon is observed passing through IceTop, it cannot come from an interacting neutrino in ice. . The low-energy Deep Core extension is a densely instrumented region of the IceCube network that extends observable energies below 100 GeV. The Deep Core lines are deployed in the center (in the surface plane) of IceCube, deep within the clearest ice at the bottom of the detector (between 1,760 and 2,450 m deep). There is no Deep Core optical module between 1850-2107m depth, as the ice is not as clear in these layers. IceCube Upgrade is a proposed expansion that will allow detection of low energy neutrinos (GeV energy scale), with uses such as the determination of

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