Ocean Networks Canada Installs Neutrino Detector in Deep Pacific
An ocean research center of the University of Victoria, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), is installing new infrastructure at its deepest node on its offshore observatory—Cascadia Basin, an abyssal plain 2,700 m below sea level—to test the location’s potential for a future large-scale neutrino observatory.
Neutrinos are one of the universe’s most essential ingredients and one of nature’s most abundant subatomic particles, produced by nuclear reactions from solar fusion, radioactive decay and exploding stars. The detector includes two 120-m long instrument moorings with photon-emitting and photo-detecting sensors, which will assess the transparency and darkness of the seawater for two years, burst of light to simulate photon reactions and assess the site’s suitability for neutrino detection.
The 2018 expedition, known as Expedition 2018: Wiring the Abyss, also includes installation of new instruments at another site, Endeavour, to continuously monitor hydrothermal vents and tectonic processes. Additionally, the final installation of a set of earthquake early warning sensors is being installed, which will be delivered to Emergency Management BC by March 2019, a $5 million government investment. The expedition is being carried out using Ocean Networks Canada’s exploration vessel E/V Nautilus and its ROVs Hercules and Argus. When the installation is complete, real-time data will be available free online through ONC’s Oceans 2.0 data management and archiving system.
Watch the live stream of the ONC expedition’s robots installing the infrastructure in the live dive at Ocean Networks Canada or watch the live video blog at NautilusLIVE. Follow #ONCabyss on Twitter for expedition updates.