Cherenkov τ shower earth-skimming method for PeV-EeV vτ observation with Ashra

Yoichi Asaoka*, Makoto Sasaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a method of observation for PeV-EeV τ neutrinos using Cherenkov light from the air showers of decayed τs produced by s neutrino interactions in the Earth. Aiming for the realization of neutrino astronomy utilizing the Earth-skimming τ neutrino detection technique, highly precise determination of arrival direction is key due to the following issues: (1) clear identification of neutrinos by identifying those vertices originating within the Earth's surface and (2) identification of very high energy neutrino sources. The Ashra detector uses newly developed light collectors which realize both a 42°-diameter field-of-view and arcminute resolution. Therefore, it has superior angular resolution for imaging Cherenkov air showers. In this paper, we estimate the sensitivity of and cosmic-ray background resulting from application of the Ashra-1 Cherenkov s shower observation method. Both data from a commissioning run and a long-term observation (with fully equipped trigger system and one light collector) are presented. Our estimates are based on a detailed Monte Carlo simulation which describes all relevant shower processes from neutrino interaction to Cherenkov photon detection produced by τ air showers. In addition, the potential to determine the arrival direction of Cherenkov showers is evaluated by using the maximum likelihood method. We conclude that the Ashra-1 detector is a unique probe into detection of very high energy neutrinos and their accelerators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Ashra
  • Cherenkov images
  • Earth-skimming s neutrino
  • GEANT4
  • High-energy neutrinos
  • Monte Carlo simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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