Ocean Deployment of a Neutrino Detector


There are many scientific motivations for a large (km-scale) high-energy astrophysical neutrino detector. Its deployment is a crucial aspect of making the project viable.

The arguments for an ocean or deep water (e.g. Mediterranean site such as Nestor) site are:

Scientific Drivers

The fundamental scientific drivers for the deployment are to be able to deploy, maintain, expand an optimized detector configuration at a sustainable cost.

Km-scale Deployment Concept

The idea is laid out simply in the following illustrations:

The location is key, just as any real estate.

This site is off Point Mugu in Southern California. The large San Juan Seamount is located near a deep abyssal plane with proximity to a Navy installation on St. Nicolas Island. The solid line represents and undersea cable from San Juan Seamount to St. Nicolas Island which in turn has shore cables. The units on these charts are in fathoms. This site is also very near Scripps Oceanographic Institute in San Diego and not so far from Monterey. Thus there are many possible ships of opportunity within a day's sail.

The deployment scheme goes by the nickname `laying out a string of volkswagen buses' and running the cable to a nearby sea mount so that the connections can be made either at the surface or atleast not in deep water.

The strings are in large boxes which open and the strings float up vertically after the boxes are in proper place. This way a full line of strings are deployed already connected.

The connections of strings to the shore cable is then made on the surface or at a shallow depth using a tethered ROV (remotely operated vehicle). Such tethered ROVs are commercially available and common.

One then has to place another string along side and continue connecting cables or run them in parallel to the shore.

KM3 R & D Project

More Information

Return to the Smoot Group page for a complete description of Dr. Smoot's group's research activities.