KM3NeT - Recent News

Latest news items published on the home page.

Welcome, ORCA-10!

22 November 2021 – Four new detection units have been added to ORCA with a 5-day intense and successful sea operation.

The operation has been performed with two ships: the Castor, equipped for deployment and precise installation of the detection units on the sea floor, and Janus, equipped with a remotely operated vehicle used for inspecting and for connecting the new units to the submarine infrastructure.

You can read all details of the operation in the daily reports published in our ORCA-blog.

Data taking with 10 detection units has been started!

One of the new detection units of ORCA outboard of Castor, preparing to its journey to the seafloor, 2,500 m below.


Online but happy collaboration meeting

19 November 2021 – Our collaboration met this week for its traditional Fall meeting – the 5th to be organised online. Despite the physical distance, we had lively and interesting exchange over the week. Many new data analyses were presented, and more than 120 participants connected to the sessions. The week ended by fun social events, and the wish to chat face to face, in-person at the next meeting.

 

 

We also welcomed new institutes in the Collaboration:
University of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi UAE; 
Lebedev Physical Institute, Russia;
UCLouvain, Belgium.

The new institutes will work on various topics ranging from neutrino astronomy to neutrino physics while contributing to the detector construction. Welcome in the collaboration!

Finally, we celebrated 6 months of ARCA data taking with 6 detection units! For the occasion, some of the artists in our collaboration prepared a 6hand piano piece. Enjoy!


New sea installation started for ORCA! Follow it from our blog

18 November 2021 – Right in the middle of the joint ANTARES and KM3NeT Collaboration meeting, which is taking place  – once again – online, a new sea campaign has been started for ORCA. Isn’t it the right way to show that a virus can’t stop science?

Today, November 18th, seven new detection units of KM3NeT, onboard the Castor ship of Foselev Marine, sailed from La Seyne sur Mer in Southern France to the KM3NeT/ORCA deep-sea site, about 40 km from the shore. The aim of the campaign is to deploy as many of them as the weather, which is not ideal in this season, will allow.

As in the past campaigns, two vessels will be used for the operation: the detection units will be deployed and precisely installed on the sea floor from the Castor, while a remotely operated vehicle will be maneuvered from the Janus of Comex.

We will document the activites of next days through our liveblog and over our social media channels.

Remain connected with us for this new, extraordinary challenge from the deep sea!

The deck of the Castor packed with detection units, while preparing to sail.


Yahya Tayalati awarded the Mustafa Prize

13 October 2021 – The KM3NeT Collaboration is proud to announce that Yahya Tayalati, professor at University Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco and member of the ANTARES and KM3NeT collaborations, has been awarded the prestigious Mustafa Prize.

The Mustafa Prize is a top science and technology award, granted biennially to the researchers and scientists of the Islamic world. Some of the criteria considered by the selection committee are the innovative and outstanding aspect of the research and the high scientific profile and international appreciation of the researcher. Professor Tayalati is receiving this prestigious award for his contribution in beyond standard model physics, especially the “Observation of the Light by Light Scattering and the Search for Magnetic Monopoles”. He was selected together with 4 other recipients among more than 500 candidates.

Yahya is the principal investigator of ANTARES and KM3NeT in Morocco. In addition to being one of the leaders of the dark matter group in the two collaborations, Yahya is leading integration activities for KM3NeT DOMs at two different sites in Morocco.

Video of the Rabat integration site aired on Al Araby TV, an international television network broadcasting in Arabic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKHzYG2igBA

Heartiest congratulations, Yahya!


Congratulations to Rebecca Gozzini

Picture of Sara Rebecca Gozzini

The KM3NeT Collaboration congratulates Sara Rebecca Gozzini, who has received a fellowship from the Program to support talented researchers – GenT Plan – of the Generalitat Valenciana (Valencian regional government) in Spain. The fellowship has a duration of 4 (+ 2) years to develop a research project at the Instituto de Física Corpuscular, IFIC, in Valencia and is thought as a tenure-track position promoted by the regional government for the consolidation of young researchers with international projection.

Rebecca joined ANTARES and KM3NeT in 2017. She took charge of different searches for dark matter: search for Galactic Centre WIMPs, search for heavy secluded dark matter, and a combined analysis with IceCube. She currently coordinates the working group ‘Dark Matter and Exotics Physics’ in KM3NeT.

The project presented by Rebecca for her GenT application, “Search for new physics signatures and measurement of fundamental neutrino properties with the KM3NeT telescope”, will have as priority objectives the search for dark matter signatures in KM3NeT, as well as new physics phenomena associated with neutrinos, such as non-standard interactions and others. The grant awarded to Rebecca includes also a budget to hire two PhD students.

The GenT Plan of the Generalitat Valenciana was born in 2017 as a commitment for the recovery, attraction and consolidation of researchers of international excellence in the Valencian research, development and innovation system, in all areas of knowledge to develop their R & D projects in public universities and research centres of the Valencian Community. Paco Salesa and Agustín Sánchez, also members of KM3NeT, are currently working at IFIC thanks to this initiative, too.

Limits on Galactic Centre WIMPs with ANTARES and KM3NeT
Limits from the search for a WIMP signal from the Galactic Centre with ANTARES and KM3NeT (plot presented by Rebecca at the 37th International Cosmic Ray Conference, 2021)

Liveblog about the ongoing sea operation for ARCA

In the evening of September 10, five new detection units of KM3NeT, onboard the Handin Tide, will sail from Malta headed to the KM3NeT/ARCA detection site. This site is located 80 km off the coast of Capo Passero, Sicily (Italy). During a 1-week operation, the detection units will be deployed and connected to the ARCA neutrino telescope at 3,500 m depth, adding up to the six already in operation.

The expectation is high for this new, important step in the construction of KM3NeT. Despite the pandemic, the Collaboration has worked hard to keep the high integration speed needed for such an ambitious project. The detection units include components prepared in various European laboratories, and also the integration, testing and installation of the units on their deployment vehicles was a joint effort of many different KM3NeT teams.

As we write this note, the detection units are safely restrained on the deck of Handin Tide, the ship crew and the KM3NeT offshore team are onboard and ready, and the ship is about to set sail. Onshore, everything is ready in the control station in Portopalo di Capo Passero. The motivation, everywhere, is very high.

We look forward to several days packed with hard work and documented with extraordinary images from the sea surface and the deep sea.

Follow the action while it takes place through our social media channels and our ARCA-blog!

 

 

The detection units awaiting deployment on the deck of Handin Tide. Note that the equipment has been already prepared in the order in which it will be moved off the ship: first, two tripods carrying an acoustic beacon each (partially visible in the picture) for the acoustic positioning system, then the reels carrying long cables for connection to the existing submarine network on the sea floor, then the detection units.


KM3NeT at ICRC2021

29 July 2021 – The International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC) has come to an end after two intense weeks.

The biannual conference organised under auspices of IUPAP, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. This year, the 37th edition of the conference was organised as an online version by DESY Zeuthen in Germany. The KM3NeT Collaboration participated in the conference with many contributions accepted by the International Science Committee of the conference.

Paschal Coyle, Spokesperson of the KM3NeT Collaboration, was invited to present a review talk on underwater neutrino telescopes, including obviously KM3NeT, but also its older sister ANTARES, the GVD telescope in Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia and the new initiative P-ONE offshore the coast of Canada in the Pacific Ocean:

   

Five more talks covered the very first results obtained with ORCA and ARCA, as well as the prospects for neutrino oscillation measurements and mass ordering determination. With only 6 detection units ARCA6 sees candidates for atmospheric neutrinos; with only 6 detection units ORCA6 sees the effect of oscillation:

In addition, more than 20 poster contributions were presented by the members of our Collaboration. Among them, Thijs van Eden and Jordan Seneca, two PhD students at Nikhef, Amsterdam, who were awarded the best poster prize for their contribution discussing reconstruction of single and double cascade in KM3NeT. Congratulations Thijs and Jordan!

  

 


In memoriam

Giorgos Androulakis

(1978 – 2021)

 

With shock and great sadness the KM3NeT Collaboration learned that our colleague and dear friend Giorgos Androulakis passed away suddenly on the 9th of July 2021, aged 43.

 

Giorgos joined KM3NeT in 2014 as a member of the NCSR “Demokritos” in Athens, Greece and from the start he became deeply involved with the construction of the detectors. In 2017, he took over as the QA/QC Manager of the Collaboration, coordinating the activities for quality control during detector construction and operation and managing a team of local quality supervisors at the institutes involved in the detector construction. He was a key long-term member of the KM3NeT Management Team and the Steering Committee.

Giorgos was unfailing in his help to the institutes when setting up their facilities for the detector construction, to help understand the origin of problems when they arose, and to support people with the intricacies of the database. On the management side his careful following of non-conformities and probing questions would often lead us to an understanding and a solution for the issue of the day. His logical approach, insight and sage advice was invaluable for many important decisions.

The recent successes of the collaboration in the construction of the seafloor infrastructures and detection units owes so much to his skills, dedication and hard work.

Giorgos was greatly appreciated by all the members of the collaboration; he was the oil that kept us all moving smoothly in the right direction. Many of us mourn a good friend. Personally, I will certainly miss our discussions over a few beers after a hard day at the Collaboration meeting and especially his unique and ironic sense of humour.

 

On behalf of the KM3NeT Collaboration I would like to express our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

 

We will miss him dearly.

 

Paschal Coyle, Spokesperson KM3NeT Collaboration

 


Yet another virtual spring meeting

A few weeks ago, KM3NeT held its two-week long spring meeting, once again virtually, like almost all meetings nowadays.

With twelve detection units operating in the ARCA and ORCA detectors, it was a joy to discuss the progress of the data analysis groups and prepare for the reports at the summer conferences. With our smooth network of almost twenty production sites new detection units are being prepared at the maximum speed that the COVID-19 restrictions allow. New deployment campaigns are in preparation.

Although at a distance, we felt close to each other thanks to the virtual coffee breaks in the gather town set up by our colleagues of Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire de Caen (many thanks!). We concluded the meeting with an exciting quest to fix the unexpected problems found in a virtual shift room: this was a run against the clock to find out the password to get free from the locked room and reconvene for a final party at the bottom of the sea – real shifts won’t ever be so hilarious!

As usual, the meeting was also the occasion to welcome the many newcomers and to remind the accomplishments of those that are leaving the collaboration for a next step in their professional career. Thanks a lot for your work for KM3NeT. We wish you all the best and success in your  new working environment!

We sincerely congratulate Diego Real whose PhD thesis was recently awarded an important prize of the Spanish Society of Astronomy!

We were pleased to welcome new teams from the University of Toulon and Institut de Ciències del Mar in Barcelona – both aim at new investigations in the deep-sea environment and have already collaborated with the ANTARES telescope and the NEMO pilot project in the Mediterranean.

Among the new activities announced at the meeting: an Open Science Committee has been established, while the representatives of our early-career-scientists put forward a plan for making the life of our youngest collaborators easier even in these difficult times.

It was a fruitful and pleasant meeting!

The call for an institute to organise the next Collaboration meeting in the fall has been opened – hopefully the next meeting will be in person?