Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-745
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-745
15 Jun 2023
 | 15 Jun 2023

Precision measurement of the index of refraction of deep glacial ice at radio frequencies at Summit Station, Greenland

Christoph Welling and the RNO-G Collaboration

Abstract. Glacial ice is used as a target material for the detection of ultra-high energy neutrinos, by measuring the radio signals that are emitted when those neutrinos interact in the ice. Thanks to the large attenuation length at radio frequencies, these signals can be detected over distances of several kilometers. One experiment taking advantage of this is the Radio Neutrino Observatory Greenland (RNO-G), currently under construction at Summit Station, near the apex of the Greenland ice sheet. These experiments require a thorough understanding of the dielectric properties of ice at radio frequencies. Towards this goal, calibration campaigns have been undertaken at Summit, during which we recorded radio reflections off internal layers in the ice sheet. Using data from the nearby GISP2 and GRIP ice cores, we show that these reflectors can be associated with features in the ice conductivity profiles; we use this connection to determine the index of refraction of the bulk ice as n = 1.778 ± 0.006.

Christoph Welling and the RNO-G Collaboration

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-745', TJ Young, 31 Jul 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Christoph Welling, 13 Aug 2023
      • RC3: 'Reply on AC1', TJ Young, 24 Oct 2023
        • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Christoph Welling, 24 Nov 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-745', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Aug 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Christoph Welling, 17 Oct 2023
Christoph Welling and the RNO-G Collaboration
Christoph Welling and the RNO-G Collaboration

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Short summary
We report in the measurement of the index of refraction in glacial ice at radio frequencies. We show that radio echos from within the ice can be associated with specific features of the ice conductivity, and use this to determine the wave velocity. This measurement is especially relevant for the Radio Neutrino Observatory Greenland (RNO-G), a neutrino detection experiment currently under construction at Summit Station, Greenland.