Feasibility of Correlated Extensive Air Shower Detection with a Distributed Cosmic Ray Network

6 Feb 2021  ·  Eric Albin, Daniel Whiteson ·

We explore the sensitivity offered by a global network of cosmic ray detectors to a novel, unobserved phenomena: widely separated simultaneous extended air showers. Existing localized observatories work independently to observe individual showers, offering insight into the source and nature of ultra-high energy cosmic rays. However no current observatory is large enough to provide sensitivity to anticipated processes such as the GZ effect or potential new physics that generate simultaneous air showers separated by hundreds to thousands of kilometers. A global network of consumer electronics (the CRAYFIS experiment), may provide a novel opportunity for observation of such phenomena. Two user scenarios are explored. In the first, with maximal user adoption, we find that statistically significant discoveries of spatially-separated but coincident showers are possible within a couple years. In the second, more practical adoption model with $10^6$ active devices, we find a worldwide CRAYFIS to be sensitive to novel "burst" phenomena where many simultaneous EASs occur at once.

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics