Physical Sciences Laboratory at University of Wisconsin-Madison: Upgrading the IceCube Enhanced Hot Water Drill

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is the first detector of its kind, designed to observe the cosmos from deep within the South Pole ice. Encompassing a cubic kilometer of ice, IceCube searches for nearly massless subatomic particles called neutrinos. On June 25, 2019, the National Science Foundation (NSF) approved $23M to upgrade the IceCube detector, extending its scientific capabilities to lower energies and thus enabling IceCube to reach neutrino energies that overlap with the energy ranges of smaller existing neutrino detectors worldwide. The IceCube Upgrade project will introduce seven strings of optical modules at the bottom center of the 86 existing strings, adding more than 700 new and enhanced optical modules to the 5,160 sensors already embedded in the ice beneath the geographic South Pole. The Enhanced Hot Water Drill equipment from IceCube construction will be resurrected to support drilling operations for the Upgrade. Much of this equipment has been long-term stored at South Pole since completion of IceCube construction in 2010-11, and some subsystems need major upgrade work and/or will become replaced completely.

September 15, 2022

Lexi Oxborough