On the cosmic-ray energy scale of the LOFAR radio telescope

K. Mulrey, S. Buitink, A. Corstanje, H. Falcke, B. M. Hare, J. R. Hörandel, T. Huege, G. K. Krampah, P. Mitra, A. Nelles, H. Pandya, J. P. Rachen, O. Scholten, S. ter Veen, S. Thoudam, T. N. G. Trinh, T. Winchen

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Cosmic rays are routinely measured at LOFAR, both with a dense array of antennas and with the LOFAR Radboud air shower Array (LORA) which is an array of plastic scintillators. In this paper, we present two results relating to the cosmic-ray energy scale of LOFAR. First, we present the reconstruction of cosmic-ray energy using radio and particle techniques along with a discussion of the event-by-event and absolute scale uncertainties. The resulting energies reconstructed with each method are shown to be in good agreement, and because the radio-based reconstructed energy has smaller uncertainty on an event-to-event basis, LOFAR analyses will use that technique in the future. Second, we present the radiation energy of air showers measured at LOFAR and demonstrate how radiation energy can be used to compare the energy scales of different experiments. The radiation energy scales quadratically with the electromagnetic energy in an air shower, which can in turn be related to the energy of the primary particle. Once the local magnetic field is accounted for, the radiation energy allows for a direct comparison between the LORA particle-based energy scale and that of the Pierre Auger Observatory. They are shown to agree to within (6±20)% for a radiation energy of 1 MeV, where the uncertainty on the comparison is dominated by the antenna calibrations of each experiment. This study motivates the development of a portable radio array which will be used to cross-calibrate the energy scales of different experiments using radiation energy and the same antennas, thereby significantly reducing the uncertainty on the comparison.
Original languageEnglish
Article number017
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2020

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