Towards an improved mass composition analysis with LOFAR

Arthur Corstanje, Katharine Mulrey, Stijn Buitink, Tobias Winchen, Jörg Hörandel, Tim Huege, Godwin Komla Krampah, Pragati Mitra, Hershal Pandya, Jörg Paul Rachen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper


The LOFAR radio telescope measures air showers in the energy range 1017 to 1018 eV. For each measured shower, the depth of shower maximum Xmax is reconstructed by simulating the radio signal for an ensemble of showers using Corsika and CoREAS. Fitting their radio ‘footprints’ on the ground to the measured radio data yields an Xmax estimate to a precision of about 20 g/cm2 . Compared to previous works, we have improved the method in several ways. Local atmospheric data and refractive index profiles are now included into the simulations. The energy estimate and the fitting procedure are now done using the radio signals only, thus limiting systematic uncertainties due to the particle detector array (LORA). Using selection criteria from a more elaborate characterisation of the radio and particle detection, we reduce a composition bias in the Xmax reconstruction. A possible residual bias has been bounded from above. Thus, the systematic uncertainties on hXmaxi have been lowered, reducing an important limiting factor for composition studies at any level of statistics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205
Number of pages8
JournalPoS Proceedings of Science
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
EventInternational Cosmic Ray Conference - University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, United States
Duration: 24 Jul 20191 Aug 2019


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