The KM3NeT future research infrastructure comprises a network of neutrino detectors in three deep seas of the Mediterranean Sea along the south coasts of Europe. Its administrative head quarters are located in the Netherlands, its data repository and data processing centres in France and Italy.
KM3NeT is a new Research Infrastructure with a cabled network of deep-sea neutrino detectors in the Mediterranean Sea. The neutrino detectors consist of large three dimensional arrays of optical modules – pressure resistant glass spheres with ultra-fast and very sensitive photo-sensors. The optical modules are supported by mechanical structures called detection units. The detection units anchored in the deep-sea are linked to shore with a network of cables for electrical power and high-bandwidth data communication. On site, shore stations are equipped to provide power, computing facilities and a high-bandwidth internet connection to the central data repository.
Locations of the KM3NeT Research Infrastructure
Three suitable deep-sea sites are identified, namely going from west to east, KM3NeT-Fr, off-shore Toulon (France), KM3NeT-It, off-shore Portopalo di Capo Passero (Italy) and KM3NeT-Gr, off-shore Pylos (Greece). Data are continuously streamed via the public internet to the data repository and computing centres in Lyon, Bologna and in South-Italy. The administrative head quarters of the KM3NeT Research Infrastructure are located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Construction time line
The first phase of construction of the KM3NeT Research Infrastructure has begun in 2015 at the KM3NeT-It and KM3NeT-Fr site and is expected to be finished in 2017. For this, a Memorandum of Understanding for KM3NeT-phase1 has been sign by all participating funding agencies. For the next phase of construction a Letter of Intent for KM3NeT 2.0 has been published. This Letter of Intent will serve as a reference document for requests for funding by the various stakeholders in Europe and abroad. Pending funding, KM3NeT 2.0 could become reality as early as in 2020. The third and final phase of construction of the KM3NeT Research Infrastructure will also include the KM3NeT-Gr site and is projected to start after 2020.
Thanks to the location of the KM3NeT detectors in the Mediterranean and the continuous communication to shore, there is significant synergy with Earth and Sea scientists, in particular with scientists using the EMSO infrastructure.
Read the Memorandum of Understanding for KM3NeT-phase1 for details about the funding of the first phase of construction of KM3NeT. In the Letter of Intent for KM3NeT 2.0 the plans for the second phase of construction of KM3NeT detailed.