Design and Performance of the ARIANNA Hexagonal Radio Array Systems
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Design and Performance of the ARIANNA Hexagonal Radio Array Systems


We report on the development, installation and operation of the first three of seven stations deployed at the ARIANNA site's pilot Hexagonal Radio Array in Antarctica. The primary goal of the ARIANNA project is to observe ultra-high energy (>100 PeV) cosmogenic neutrino signatures using a large array of autonomous stations each dispersed 1 km apart on the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf. Sensing radio emissions of 100 MHz to 1 GHz, each station in the array contains RF antennas, amplifiers, 1.92 G-sample/s, 850 MHz bandwidth signal acquisition circuitry, pattern-matching trigger capabilities, an embedded CPU, 32 GB of solid-state data storage, and long-distance wireless and satellite communications. Power is provided by the sun and LiFePO4 storage batteries, and the stations consume an average of 7W of power. Operation on solar power has resulted in >=58% per calendar-year live-time. The station's pattern-trigger capabilities reduce the trigger rates to a few milli-Hertz with 4-sigma thresholds while retaining good stability and high efficiency for neutrino signals. The timing resolution of the station has been found to be 0.049 ps, RMS, and the angular precision of event reconstructions of signals bounced off of the sea-ice interface of the Ross Ice Shelf ranged from 0.14 to 0.17 degrees. A new fully-synchronous 2+ G-sample/s, 1.5 GHz bandwidth 4-channel signal acquisition chip with deeper memory and flexible >600 MHz, <1 mV RMS sensitivity triggering has been designed and incorporated into a single-board data acquisition and control system that uses an average of only 1.7W of power. Along with updated amplifiers, these new systems are expected to be deployed during the 2014-2015 Austral summer to complete the Hexagonal Radio Array.

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