Studies of the Highest Energy Particles in Nature

Funded under the International Collaboration Project of the
MNRF Program

Proposer: R Clay


MNRF funds have been used to enable attendance by University of Adelaide researchers at Project AUGER Collaboration Board Meetings, allowing Australians to play a major part in the development of the Auger high-energy cosmic-ray observatory. Two Collaboration Board Meetings have been attended. The first, in May 1997, was held in Utah, USA and was mentioned in the MNRF Annual Report Number 1. The second, in August the same year, was held in Durban, South Africa and was attended by Dr B R Dawson on behalf of the proposer.


These visits are enabling Clay and colleagues to maintain a high profile involvement in the AUGER project, which now involves 18 countries. While Australia has provided relatively little in the way of funding for the project, the Adelaide group's regular involvement in the project has, so far, allowed them to have significant influence on its direction. This has been through their leadership in the design of the fluorescence detection system and, now, in proposals for atmospheric monitoring.


The Auger project is progressing well, with a design essentially completed and final details under discussion. A Finance Board will have its inaugural meeting at UNESCO in Paris in October 1998. Until then, the total funding of the project will not be completely firm but an initial $100 million appears to be in place to construct the first of the two observatories (in Argentina). Clay and colleagues are attempting to ensure that Australia is represented on the Finance Board, which will control the flow of funds.


The Australian group is the sub-task leader for atmospheric monitoring, which means that they will be responsible for funds related to that task through the Finance Board. Many monitoring issues are common to other observatories, and the group expects to make useful contributions to solving problems faced in other areas of astronomy.

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This page is maintained by Michelle Storey
Last update by Michelle Storey. 29/10/98