KM3NeT - Recent News

Latest news items published on the home page.

Paper alert

20 November 2023 – Recently, KM3NeT published on the arXiv pre-prints of two new papers:

1 – Embedded software of the KM3NeT Central Logic Board

This KM3NeT technical paper describes the embedded software running in the data acquisition of the telescope. Located in the deep Mediterranean Sea, the hardware of the telescope is not directly accessible. The implemented software facilitates remote management of the deployed hardware and safe reconfiguration of firmware. It runs on the central electronics board of each optical module of the KM3NeT detectors. The central logic board coordinates the readout of all equipment inside the module and manages the communication and data transmission over optical fibers connecting the module to the control station on shore.

Read the details at arXiv.2308.01032

(Accepted for publication in Computer Physics Communications)

 

2 – KM3NeT neutrino follow-up of gravitational wave sources

In this paper the KM3NeT Collaboration reports the results of a neutrino follow-up study made with ORCA data of gravitational wave sources detected by LIGOVirgo in 2019-2020. The search focuses both on MeV neutrinos and high-energy neutrinos. No significant excess was observed for any of the sources.

Upper limits on the neutrino emission from individual sources and the typical emission from binary black hole mergers are computed and compared with the constraints from other neutrino telescopes.

Since May 2023, the Collaboration is performing real-time follow-ups of the GW triggers detected by LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA in their fourth observing run, with both ORCA and ARCA detectors with much larger instrumented volumes than in the previous searches.

In the figure the comparison of 90% upper limits on the neutrino fluence from gravitational wave sources for ANTARES, IceCube, Super-Kamiokande and KM3NeT.

 

Read the details at arXiv.2311.03804

The paper has been submitted for publication after peer-review.

 


KM3NeT/ARCA enlarged to 28 Detection Units

10 October 2023 – An important two-week marine operation has been successfully carried out at the KM3NeT ARCA site, offshore Capo Passero, Sicily in September.

The campaign was performed with the Optimus Prime, equipped with a FUGRO underwater vehicle (ROV). The ship set sail from Malta on Monday, 11 September and came back to the port at the end of the operation on Thursday, 23 September.

The operation was among the last activities of PACK, a project supported by MUR (the Italian Ministry of University and Research) for the period 2019-2023, aimed at enlarging the deep-sea telescope and at enhancing the KM3NeT facilities in Bari, Caserta and Naples.

Soon after completing the operation, the commissioning of the enlarged ARCA telescope was started.

ARCA now comprises 28 detection units, which are altogether equipped with 504 Digital Optical Modules, with a total of more than 15,000 photomultipliers.

Deployment of a detection unit from Optimus Prime
The start of the unfurling of a detection unit as seen from the ROV control room onboard the Optimus Prime.
Tests of a newly deployed detection unit from the shore station in Portopalo di Capo Passero

KM3NeT on display at the “Des abysses au cosmos” exhibition

From the 15th of September to the 8th of October, KM3NeT is represented at the exhibition “Des abysses au cosmos” (From the abyss to the cosmos), at the Fort Napoléon cultural centre in La Seyne-sur-Mer, France, operating quarters of the ANTARES and KM3NeT experiments.

The exhibition presents 20 years of underwater exploration of the cosmos, as well as the scientific and technological challenges and innovations involved in studying neutrinos and the deep marine environment. Organised by the CPPM and the City Hall of la Seyne-sur-Mer, this exhibition is aimed at the general public as well as primary and secondary school students.

Posters, photos, miniatures, objects and mini-interviews about KM3NeT are displayed, showing the scientific and technological efforts done by the Collaboration since the beginnings of the experiment to the present day. The KM3NeT-INFRADEV2 project is also represented to highlight the Collaboration’s commitment towards the full implementation of a reliable and sustainable KM3NeT international Research Infrastructure. A section is also dedicated to women in science, presenting the involvement of women scientists, engineers and technicians in KM3NeT.

 

An exhibition that will take its visitors to a depth of more than 2400 metres and behind the scenes of international research!

 

Some of the objects presented at the exhibit (by Chiara Lastoria)

 

Some pictures of the exhibition opening, on the 14th of September (by Victoria Ciarlet)

 

More information on the exhibition: https://cppm.in2p3.fr/abysses-cosmos


KM3NeT presented at conferences worldwide

15 September 2023 – This summer, KM3NeT members participated in conferences all over the world to present the latest results and  developments of our Collaboration.

Besides TAUP in Vienna, EPS-HEP in Hamburg, and TeVPA in Naples, KM3NeT-ers have massively attended the 38th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC), in Nagoya, Japan. Since the ICRC is among the largest conferences in the field of astroparticle physics, it was an ideal opportunity for reporting the progress of the collaboration in neutrino astronomy, neutrino physics, multi-messenger astronomy, cosmic rays, and dark matter searches.

In total, KM3NeT presented 10 talks and 28 posters at the ICRC, in addition to a plenary talk given by prof. Antoine Kouchner, the spokesperson of the ANTARES Collaboration, on catching neutrinos in the Mediterranean Sea.

Interested?

The full proceedings of ICRC2023 can be found here. For your convenience, the contributions of KM3NeT to the proceedings are available here and are also on arXiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/2309.05016.

KM3NeT members at the ICRC2023.
Antoine Kouchner, spokesperson of the ANTARES Collaboration, presenting at the ICRC2023 an overview of recent work achieved by ANTARES and KM3NeT.
Some of the talks given by KM3NeT members at the ICRC2023.
Some of the posters presented by KM3NeT members at the ICRC2023.

 


Neutrino emission from our Galaxy! New observations by the IceCube Collaboration

29 June 2023 – The KM3NeT Collaboration congratulates the IceCube Collaboration after today’s announcement of an evidence in IceCube of high-energy neutrinos originating from our own Galaxy.

“Congratulations to the IceCube Collaboration for this great result. For the KM3NeT Collaboration it is a very important observation” says Paschal Coyle, the KM3NeT Spokesperson.

While IceCube has previously reported evidence for several sources of extragalactic neutrinos, the detection of neutrinos from the Milky Way has proved difficult,  due to the IceCube’s location at the South Pole, where a signal from within our Galaxy is observed as downgoing events and is therefore subject to a large background of atmospheric muons. Furthermore, as the signal was observed in the cascade channel, which has a limited angular resolution, it was not possible to determine if the signal is due to a diffuse source or a collection of unresolved point sources.

A telescope located in the Northern hemisphere, such as KM3NeT, observes our Galaxy using upgoing events, which have significantly less background than downgoing events and are therefore easier to detect. This in fact allowed ANTARES to report the first hint of a neutrino emission from the Galaxy (see the news item on the ANTARES web-site).

Moreover, the KM3NeT telescope will be able to observe the signal in the muon neutrino channel in addition to the electron neutrino channel and both with a much better angular resolution than IceCube.

“IceCube has confirmed our Galaxy is a guaranteed source of high-energy neutrinos. KM3NeT looks forward to unravelling the origins of this Galactic signal with unprecedented precision” concludes Paschal Coyle.


A cheerful Collaboration meeting in Salerno

14 June 2023 – The KM3NeT Collaboration met in Salerno last week.

It was quite a busy week, during which the status of data taking and data analysis of ARCA and ORCA as well as the contributions to the ICRC 2023 were reviewed, the progress in detector construction was discussed (celebrating the remarkable result of the 1,100th built DOM!) and the plans for next sea campaigns were refined.

The Collaboration continues to grow, with a research team joining as observer from Institute of Experimental Physics in Kosice, Slovakia (team leader: Blahoslav Pastircak).

Many thanks to the organizing team in Salerno!

The next Collaboration meeting will be in October in Paris and will include a day dedicated to celebrating the success of ANTARES, the first-undersea neutrino telescope ever built, progenitor of KM3NeT.


Three more detection units for KM3NeT/ORCA

1 May 2023 – During a two days sea operation, 27-28 April 2023, three detection units were successfully connected to the ORCA detector of KM3NeT in a record time of just over 24 hours. In addition, an acoustic beacon was recovered for battery replacement. The total number of deployed ORCA units is now 18, as visible in the sonar scan above.

As usual, the operation was performed with two ships: the Castor of Foselev, for deployment of the detection units, and the Janus II of SAAS (formerly Comex), equipped with a deep-sea remotely operated vehicle, for submarine operations.

Many thanks to the crews offshore as well as to the team who performed the functional tests of the new detection units from the shore station!


New marine science sensors coming online

24 April 2023 – Following a successful sea operation, the 16-19 April 2023, a collection of new marine science instrumentation is now connected to the Laboratoire Sous-marin Provence Mediterranee (LSPM)) sea floor infrastructure at the KM3NeT/ORCA site, near Toulon, France.

During the three day sea operation the so-called ‘pre-SJB’, developed by CPPM Marseille, was connected into the seafloor network. The pre-SJB is a passive junction box housing an AC power transformer and a sea return electrode. During the same operation a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) connected an interlink cable between the pre-SJB and the previously deployed SJB.

The SJB (Scientific Junction Box), developed by Ifremer, is a junction box with six output dedicated to marine science instrumentation. The Pre-SJB/SJB are located about 3.7 km west of the main KM3NeT/ORCA detector. The SJB with its associated instrumentation had already been deployed about a year ago and was waiting for the pre-SJB installation to come online. An earlier incarnation of the SJB was previously installed on the ANTARES junction box.

The instrumentation currently connected to the SJB includes the BathyBot seafloor crawler, its docking station BathyDock (MIO/DT-INSU-Marseille) and BathyReef (an artificial reef), a broad-band seismograph (GeoAzur-Nice), a germanium gamma spectrometer (CPPM-Marseille,) and a stereo biocamera (IP2I-Lyon).

Two ships were involved in the sea operation: the Raymond Croze of Orange Marine and the Janus II of SAAS.

The ROV being deployed from Janus II.
The ROV being deployed from Janus II.
The Raymond Croze.
The Raymond Croze of Orange Marine.
Deployment of the Pre-SJB.
Deployment of the Pre-SJB from the Raymond Croze.
Layout of the LSPM instrumentation connected to the SJB.
Layout of the LSPM instrumentation connected to the SJB.

The KM3NeT-INFRADEV2 project is launched

27 March 2023 – The kick-off Meeting of the KM3NeT-INFRADEV2 project, funded by the European Union, marked the official start of a new step toward the full implementation of the KM3NeT Research Infrastructure.

Involving institutes, laboratories and universities from France, Italy, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, and Spain, this three-year European project aims to support the creation of a KM3NeT legal entity, accelerates the implementation of the detectors, develops the data management and open science practices of the collaboration as well as ensures a sustainable future for the infrastructure.

During the online meeting, each work package was presented to all partners involved and to Ioannis Andredakis, the Project Officer for the INFRADEV2 project from the European Research Executive Agency.

The leaders of the working groups and their team members also had the opportunity to further discuss their work together, giving a very positive start to the project.

For the next three years and thanks to the European funding, the consortium will continue firmly with the development and successful operation of the KM3NeT neutrino observatory.

 

 

 


The KM3NeT Collaboration met online

14 March 2023 – The KM3NeT Collaboration met online last week for the spring Collaboration meeting.

During the meeting we reviewed the status of data taking and data analysis of ARCA and ORCA, and discussed the progress in detector construction and the plans for next sea campaigns.

The Collaboration continues to grow: a research team has joined as full member of the Collaboration from University of Hull in UK (team leader: Brad Gibson) and a team from Ariel University in Israel (team leader: Dafne Guetta) has been welcomed as observer; furthermore, Marco Miceli of University of Palermo, Italy, has been accepted as associated member.

During the meeting the first-ever winners of the Giorgos Androulakis Prize, Tamás Gál and Edward Berbee, were announced.

The plan for next Collaboration meetings was also finalized. A decision of the KM3NeT Collaboration, meant to reduce the carboon footprint on the planet, is that at least one of the general Collaboration meetings is organized online per year. The next Collaboration meetings will take place in person, in early June in Salerno and in mid-October in Paris.