JINST Instrumentation Theses Archive
2023 JINST TH 006
Supervisor: Jennifer Thomas
The CHIPS Prototype Water Cherenkov Detector
Abstract:The CHIPS (Cerenkov detectors In mine PitS) detector was a large-scale water Cherenkov (WC) long baseline neutrino detector located in northern Minnesota. It was located 7 mrad off-axis, 712 km downstream from the NuMI neutrino source at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and with a fiducial detector mass of 5.9 kT. CHIPS was a research and development project aiming to demonstrate a reduction in the cost of construction of a WC neutrino detector to $200k-$300k per kT. CHIPS was constructed and deployed in 2019. The design, construction and deployment procedure of CHIPS are discussed. CHIPS utilised photomultiplier tubes and pre-existing readout electronics for instrumentation. A new low-cost set of readout electronics and its associated DAQ system was developed as a successor to the existing CHIPS electronics. Its design is presented here. A muon neutrino beam from an accelerator directed through the Earth produces a continuous flux of muons along the beamline due to the neutrino interactions with the rock. A technique is proposed to monitor the energy profile of such a neutrino beam by measuring the neutrino flux through the Earth using a small portable detector with a magnetic deflector. The study shows that as the off-axis angle changes, information about the kaon content of the parent hadron beam can be inferred using existing detector technologies.
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