IceCube: Antarctic neutrino detector to get $37 million upgrade

IceCube: Antarctic neutrino detector to get $37 million upgrade

IceCube, the Antarctic neutrino detector that in July of 2018 helped unravel one of the oldest riddles in physics and astronomy — the origin of high-energy neutrinos and cosmic rays — is getting an upgrade.

This month, the National Science Foundation (NSF) approved $23 million in funding to expand the detector and its scientific capabilities. Seven new strings of optical modules will be added to the 86 existing strings, adding more than 700 new, enhanced optical modules to the 5,160 sensors already embedded in the ice beneath the geographic South Pole.

A prototype of one of the IceCube Upgrade project’s new sensor module designs, called the mDOM, which has multiple photomultiplier tubes arranged for uniform sensitivity. DESY, ICECUBE COLLABORATION

The upgrade, to be installed during the 2022–23 polar season, will receive additional support from international partners in Japan and Germany as well as from Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Total new investment in the detector will be about $37 million.