Artist’s impression of the neutrino telescope made during the Design study. © KM3NeT Collaboration
From February 2006 to December 2009, the KM3NeT Experiment benefitted from the support of the European Union for the Design Study for a Deep-Sea Facility in the Mediterranean for Neutrino Astronomy and Associated Sciences. Funded by the Sixth Framework Programme (EU FP6), the objective was to address the scientific and technical design issues related to the installation of a future cubic-kilometre sized deep-sea infrastructure housing a next-generation neutrino telescope and providing long-term access for Earth and Sea sciences research. Legal, governance and political aspects were addressed in parallel, providing a solid foundation for the start of the KM3NeT experiment.
The project and its associated technical innovations made it possible to design three different approaches to an array neutrino telescope with an instrumented volume of more than 5 cubic kilometres for the targeted budget of 200 million euros. This is more than five times the volume foreseen at the beginning of the design study for the same budget.
Following the publication of the Conceptual Design Report in 2008, the Design Study was concluded in December 2009 with the internal approval of the preliminary Technical Design Report. The Technical Design Report was published in March 2010 (ISBN 978-90-6488-033-90) and contained three different options for the technology of the research infrastructure. The final choice for the design was made in 2012 following the Preparatory Phase of KM3NeT.