Record Season for IceCube – Data taking with half of the detector can start

Installation of an acoustic test module. Delia Tosi (front right) and Stefan Klepser (not on the photo) were DESY´s participants of the installation work in this season.

Fourteen “strings”, cables with 60 photomultipliers each: this was the minimum goal for the 2007/08 South Pole campaign of the IceCube Collaboration. The photomultipliers in their pressure tight glass housings (“optical modules”) are deployed and frozen at depths down to 2450 metres. They record the light from neutrino interactions in polar ice. The maximum goal had been 18 strings – but only optimists believed in it. Now, eventually this goal has been reached, and with a total of 40 strings half of IceCube is installed. The present detector is 15 times the size of its predecessor AMANDA and enables a true step in unknown territory.

For this season, DESY has delivered 480 of the optical modules and parts of the readout electronics. On top of that, the Zeuthen group – together with other collaboration partners – has performed a series of important measurements to test acoustic detection of neutrinos.

Deployment of an IceCube module at the South Pole