Direction identification in radio images of cosmic-ray air showers detected with LOPES and KASCADE
Department of Astrophysics, IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Institut für Kernphysik, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
3 Institut für Experimentelle Kernphysik, Universität Karlsruhe (TH), 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
4 Institut für Prozessverarb. und Elektr., Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
5 Fachbereich Physik, Universität Wuppertal, 42097 Wuppertal, Germany
6 ASTRON, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
7 Dipartimento di Fisica Generale dell'Università, 10125 Torino, Italy
8 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, 53010 Bonn, Germany
9 National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering, 7690 Bucharest, Romania
10 Fachbereich Physik, Universität Siegen, 57068 Siegen, Germany
11 Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, INAF, 10133 Torino, Italy
12 Soltan Institute for Nuclear Studies, 90950 Lodz, Poland
13 Physics Department, Bucharest University, Bucharest-Magurele, PO Box MG-11, 077125, Romania
Accepted: 12 June 2008
Aims. We want to understand the emission mechanism of radio emission from air showers to determine the origin of high-energy cosmic rays. Therefore, we study the geometry of the air shower radio emission measured with LOPES and search for systematic effects between the direction determined on the radio signal and the direction provided by the particle detector array KASCADE.
Methods. We produce 4D radio images on time-scales of nanoseconds using digital beam-forming. Each pixel of the image is calculated for three spatial dimensions and as a function of time. The third spatial dimension is obtained by calculating the beam focus for a range of curvature radii fitted to the signal wave front. We search this multi-dimensional parameter space for the direction of maximum coherence of the air shower radio signal and compare it to the direction provided by KASCADE.
Results. The maximum radio emission of air showers is obtained for curvature radii being larger than 3 km. We find that the direction of the emission maximum can change when optimizing the curvature radius. This dependence dominates the statistical uncertainty for the direction determination with LOPES. Furthermore, we find a tentative increase of the curvature radius to lower elevations, where the air showers pass through a larger atmospheric depth. The distribution of the offsets between the directions of both experiments is found to decrease linearly with increasing signal-to-noise ratio. Significantly increased offsets and enhanced signal strengths are found in events which were modified by strong electric fields in thunderstorm clouds.
Conclusions. We conclude that the angular resolution of LOPES is sufficient to determine the direction which maximizes the observed electric field amplitude. However, the statistical uncertainty of the directions is not determined by the resolution of LOPES, but by the uncertainty of the curvature radius. We do not find any systematic deviation between the directions determined from the radio signal and from the detected particles. This result places a strong supportive argument for the use of the radio technique to study the origin of high-energy cosmic rays.
Key words: acceleration of particles / elementary particles / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / instrumentation: detectors / methods: observational / techniques: image processing
© ESO, 2008