Enter Zoom Meeting

ST1.6

The neutron monitor network: challenges and future perspective

Since the late 1950’s the neutron monitor (NM) network provides continuous measurements of the cosmic ray (CR) environment, shading light upon the physical mechanisms of solar relativistic ion acceleration, injection and propagation during Ground Level Enhancements (GLEs), as well as the effect of large scale structures (i.e. interplanetary coronal mass ejections – ICMEs and corotating interaction regions – CIRs) propagating in the solar wind resulting in short-term decreases of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), termed as Forbush decreases (FDs) and the long-term behavior of CRs. Since 2008, the majority of NMs provide data through a single repository, the Neutron Monitor Database (NMDB), making it straightforward for the scientific community to retrieve such data. The NM network has paved the way for the understanding of the near-Earth and the inner heliosphere radiation environment and corroborates with the findings of spacecraft missions, specifically recent measurements of high energy particles from PAMELA, AMS onboard the International Space Station and EPHIN onboard SOHO. At the same time, the network of NMs is extensively used for the establishment of space-weather related services, such as alerts of GLEs and estimations of the radiation environment within the atmosphere, the magnetosphere and beyond. Also, new detectors and electronics expand the current NM network whereas algorithms for the treatment of the data are being investigated.
With a view to the future, the NM network faces challenges with respect to its sustainability, evolution, continuous and updated usage by the scientific community. Nonetheless, the future perspectives of the network are promising, with the NM data being used in a large variety of fields – even non-conventional ones. This session brings together scientists from research fields related to space, solar, neutron monitor, heliospheric and atmospheric sciences. The session solicits contributions related but not limited to:
• Modeling of GLEs, short term FDs and GCRs modulation;
• Long-term variability of the CR flux from ground based and spacecraft measurements;
• Evaluation and quantification of the radiation environment in the inner heliosphere and the Earth’s atmosphere;
• Space-weather services based on the NM network;
• Influence of solar activity and the effect of cosmic rays on the atmosphere;
• Instrumentation, algorithms and data access for ground-based CR detectors.

Convener: Athanasios Papaioannou | Co-conveners: Ilya Usoskin, Christian T. Steigies, Alexander Mishev, David Ruffolo
Presentations
| Fri, 27 May, 08:30–09:52 (CEST)
 
Room 1.14

Fri, 27 May, 08:30–10:00

Chairpersons: Alexander Mishev, Ilya Usoskin

08:30–08:40
|
EGU22-13123
|
solicited
|
On-site presentation
Mateja Dumbovic

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs), interplanetary shocks, and corotating interaction regions (CIRs) drive heliospheric variability, causing various interplanetary as well as planetary disturbances. One of their very common in-situ signatures are short-term reductions in the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) flux (i.e. Forbush decreases), which are measured by ground-based instruments at Earth and Mars, as well as various spacecraft throughout the heliosphere (most recently by Solar Orbiter). In general, interplanetary magnetic structures interact with GCRs producing depressions in the GCR flux. Therefore, different types of interplanetary magnetic structures cause different types of Forbush decreases, allowing us to distinguish between them. With new modelling efforts, as well as observational analysis we are one step closer in utilizing GCR measurements to provide information on interplanetary transients, especially where other measurements (e.g. plasma, magnetic field) are lacking.

How to cite: Dumbovic, M.: Galactic cosmic rays as signatures of interplanetary transients, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13123, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-13123, 2022.

08:40–08:46
|
EGU22-4352
|
ECS
|
Virtual presentation
Chanoknan Banglieng et al.

A Forbush decrease (FD) is the decrease in Galactic cosmic ray (GCR) flux, e.g., as observed by a neutron monitor count rate, in association with a coronal mass ejection (CME) and/or its shock. The FD amplitude is known to decrease at higher cutoff rigidity. During Solar Cycle 24, the Mawson neutron monitor in Antarctica, with a low (atmosphere-limited) cutoff rigidity of ~1 GV, observed numerous FDs, while the Princess Sirindhorn Neutron Monitor (PSNM) located near the Earth's equator at Doi Inthanon, Thailand, with the world’s highest geomagnetic cutoff rigidity (17 GV), observed only a fraction of these as FDs.  Instead, we find that the shock arrival is often followed by repeated dips in the PSNM count rate at only certain times of day, while the GCR flux from other directions remains near the pre-shock level.  We refer to decreases of this type as diurnal dips.  In this work, we have surveyed FDs and diurnal dip events observed by PSNM and the dependence of their maximum amplitude on the solar wind speed, ICME speed, and interplanetary magnetic field.  We acknowledge logistical support from Australia's Antarctic Program for operating the Mawson NM and support from the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand and grant RTA6280002 from Thailand Science Research and Innovation.

How to cite: Banglieng, C., Ruffolo, D., Sáiz, A., Mitthumsiri, W., Nutaro, T., Duldig, M. L., and Humble, J. E.: Diurnal Dips and Forbush Decreases in Galactic Cosmic Rays Observed at High Cutoff Rigidity, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4352, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4352, 2022.

08:46–08:52
|
EGU22-1221
Agnieszka Gil et al.

Galactic cosmic rays (GCR) show a small local anisotropy detected as a diurnal variability of neutron monitor (NM) count rates. As the asymptotic directions of different NMs are diverse, the capability of the GCR diurnal variation observation is also various. Here we present that the Dome C (DOMC) NM is barely sensitive to the diurnal variation. Its amplitude is very small, 0.03%, in comparison to other polar NMs, for which the diurnal variability amplitudes vary from 0.16 to 0.4%. This fact is associated to the narrow asymptotic-direction cone of DOMC NM looking almost to the South pole with geographic latitude above 75o. Thus, DOMC NM is the only existing NM accepting cosmic-ray particles from the off-equatorial region, which makes this station a unique detector.

How to cite: Gil, A., Mishev, A., Poluianov, S., and Usoskin, I.: Diurnal anisotropy of polar neutron monitors, Dome C looks poleward, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1221, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1221, 2022.

08:52–08:58
|
EGU22-10415
|
ECS
Scaling features of cosmic rays, solar, heliospheric and geomagnetic data
(withdrawn)
Renata Modzelewska et al.
08:58–09:04
|
EGU22-11343
|
ECS
|
On-site presentation
Mateja Dumbovic et al.

We observe a long-lived CIR recurring in 27 consecutive Carrington rotations 2057-2083 in the time period from June 2007 - May 2009. We characterize the in situ measurements of this long-lived CIR as well as the corresponding depression in the GCR count observed by SOHO/EPHIN, and analyze them throughout different rotations. We find that the inverted GCR count time-profile correlates well with that of the flow speed throughout different rotations. We perform a statistical analysis and find the GCR count amplitude correlated to the peak in the magnetic field and flow speed, as expected based on previous statistical studies. In order to characterize a generic CIR profile for modelling purposes, we perform the superposed epoch analysis using relative values of the key parameters. Based on the observed properties we propose a simple analytical model starting from the basic Fokker-Planck equation. We employ a convection-diffusion GCR propagation model and apply it to the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field properties observed for the analyzed long-lived CIR. Our analysis demonstrates a very good match of the model results and observations.

How to cite: Dumbovic, M., Vrsnak, B., Heber, B., Temmer, M., Kuhl, P., and Kirin, A.: Characteristics of a long-lived CIR and analytical modelling of the corresponding depression in the GCR flux, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11343, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11343, 2022.

09:04–09:10
|
EGU22-11286
Ilya Usoskin et al.

For many reasons, from solar physics to terrestrial and engineering applications, it is important to estimate the total fluences of solar energetic particles (SEPs) especially for the strongest hard-spectrum events known as ground-level enhancements (GLEs). Here we present a revised reconstruction of the SEP spectral fluences using a recently developed probabilistic Monte-Carlo method, applied to major GLE events of the last decades. The method utilizes data from the ground-based neutron-monitor network in the higher-energy range and revised space-borne/ionospheric data for the lower-energy part. The fluences are reconstructed along with realistic uncertainty estimates which appear large for weak events and small for strong events.

How to cite: Usoskin, I., Koldobskiy, S., and Kovaltsov, G.: Integral fluences of GLEs: A new full reconstruction, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11286, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11286, 2022.

09:10–09:16
|
EGU22-1243
|
On-site presentation
Alexander Mishev et al.

The first solar proton event of solar cycle 25 was detected on 28 October 2021 by several neutron monitors (NMs) in the polar regions, the strongest signal was registered by the DOMC/DOMB monitors located at the Antarctic plateau at Concordia French-Italian research station. It is identified as the GLE (ground-level enhancement) #73 in the International GLE database. Here, we report the observations of the GLE by the global NM network and present the derived angular and spectral features of solar energetic protons with their dynamical evolution throughout the event employing a state-of-the-art model based on analysis of the neutron monitor data. Using the derived spectra we computed the related terrestrial effects, namely the cosmic rate induced ionization at several altitudes on a global map and discuss possible implications.

How to cite: Mishev, A., Larsen, N., and Usoskin, I.: The first GLE (# 73 – 28-Oct-2021) of solar cycle 25: a study of the related terrestrial effects using neutron monitor data, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1243, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1243, 2022.

09:16–09:22
|
EGU22-5504
Athanasios Papaioannou et al.

We present an overview of the first ground-level enhancement (GLE) event of solar cycle 25, recorded on 28 October 2021 (GLE73), based on the available neutron monitor (NM) network observations and on data from near-Earth spacecraft (GOES, SOHO, SolO). The maximum increase was ~7.3% for DOMC (Dome C NM at Concordia station) and 5.4% for SOPO (South Pole) conventional NMs located on the Antarctic plateau. Bare (lead-free) NMs at the same sites detected a higher response (14.0% for DOMB and 6.6% for SOPB). The Fort Smith (FSMT) NM shows the earliest increase among the high-latitude NMs, indicating a moderate anisotropy in the first phase of the GLE event. The maximum rigidity of accelerated protons did not exceed 2.4 GV. We estimated the solar release time (SRT) of ≥1 GV protons into open magnetic field lines at ~15:40 UT.  In-situ proton observations from near-Earth spacecraft were combined with the detection of a solar flare in soft X-rays (SXRs), a coronal mass ejection (CME), radio bursts and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) observations to identify the solar origin of the GLE. Around the ≥1 GV proton SRT the CME-driven shock was located at a height of ~2.33 Rs. The timing of the EUV wave evolution towards the field lines magnetically connected to Earth seem to be in good agreement with the inferred release time of ≥1 GV protons.

How to cite: Papaioannou, A., Kouloumvakos, A., Mishev, A., Vainio, R., Usoskin, I., Herbst, K., Rouillard, A. P., Anastasiadis, A., Giesler, J., Wimmer-Schweingruber, R., and Kuhl, P.: Characteristics of the First Ground Level Enhancement (GLE) of Solar Cycle 25 on 28 October 2021, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5504, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5504, 2022.

09:22–09:28
|
EGU22-4215
|
ECS
|
Virtual presentation
Ekawit Kittiya et al.

A neutron monitor is a large ground-based detector responding to the flux of cosmic ray particles in space by measuring atmospheric secondary neutrons. Any ground-based detector is sensitive to cosmic rays from a specific range of directions in space. In particular, a particle arriving from a specific sky direction with a specific rigidity (momentum per unit charge) was necessarily moving from a certain direction in space, called the asymptotic direction. McMurdo and Jang Bogo neutron monitor stations are Antarctic stations with similar geomagnetic latitudes but slightly different longitudes. From December 17, 2015 to January 9, 2017, six of the eighteen neutron counters from McMurdo had been transferred to Jang Bogo (with full transfer to Jang Bogo completed in December 2017). We present an analysis of the correlation of the cosmic ray flux between the McMurdo and Jang Bogo stations, during the time when both were operating, with ten-second time resolution. Although highly correlated, there are significant differences, including a systematic time lag of approximately 16 minutes between the data from the two stations. Although McMurdo observes with similar asymptotic directions to Jang Bogo, the response-weighted average directions still have a substantial difference of 21.9 degrees in geographic longitude, so with Earth’s rotation, time-independent anisotropy effects should induce a lag of 88 minutes.  Because the observed lag of 16 minutes is intermediate between 0 and 88 minutes, the joint observations reveal structure in the interplanetary cosmic-ray density that is consistent with a combination of simultaneous temporal variations and non-simultaneous variations with direction (i.e., anisotropy). The research is supported in part by a TA/RA scholarship (active recruitment) of Chiang Mai University and Thailand Science Research and Innovation via Research Team Promotion Grant RTA6280002.

How to cite: Kittiya, E., Nuntiyakul, W., Seripienlert, A., Evenson, P., Saiz, A., Ruffolo, D., and Oh, S.: Cosmic Ray Flux Correlation between McMurdo and Jang Bogo Neutron Monitor Stations vs. Time Lag, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4215, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4215, 2022.

09:28–09:34
|
EGU22-13288
|
Virtual presentation
Du Toit Strauss

We present new results of the neutron monitor (NM) multiplicity, as measured by the SANAE NM with updated electronics, down to 10 microseconds. We identify the high-multiplicity component, formed when high-energy particles interact with the NM and produce multiple neutrons in the lead producer. This component is absent in the lead-free monitors and is absent when testing the leaded NM with a low-energy neutron source. We study the pressure dependence of both the high- and low-multiplicity components, as well as the ratio thereof. We show how this ratio, as a proxy for the energy spectrum of atmospheric particles incident on the NM, changes during a relatively small Forbush decrease observed in November 2021.

How to cite: Strauss, D. T.: Measuring neutron monitor multiplicities at SANAE, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13288, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-13288, 2022.

09:34–09:40
|
EGU22-5650
|
ECS
|
Virtual presentation
Kullapha Chaiwongkhot et al.

Neutron monitors were designed to measure atmospheric secondary neutrons from cosmic ray showers in order to track the cosmic ray flux vs. time.  Furthermore, at the Princess Sirindhorn Neutron Monitor (PSNM), an 18-counter NM64 detector at 2560-m altitude at Doi Inthanon, Thailand, the leader fraction (inverse multiplicity) inferred from time delay distribution between successive neutron events in the same counter has been used to track spectral variations.  More recent measurements of time delays between neutron events in different counters, as a function of counter separation, have confirmed that 1) the product neutrons from the interaction of a single atmospheric secondary neutron can spread among neighboring counters, with a cross-counter leader fraction that depends on whether the first counter is an end or middle counter, and 2) coincident counts between distant counters can be produced by multiple atmospheric secondary neutrons from the same primary cosmic ray, with a leader fraction that depends on whether the second counter is an end or middle counter.  Here we report on measurements of neutron signals in amplifier outputs at PSNM using a 4-channel oscilloscope, in order to further investigate these phenomena.  For a pair of neighboring counters located at the edge of the counter array, we find roughly equal event rates in either neighbor following a neutron trigger in one of them, implying that the difference in leader fraction relates to the base count rate of the first counter and is therefore lower if that is an end counter. In addition, an FPGA-based readout system was developed for more efficient collection of neutron events on two distant counters (Tubes 2 and 18) that were coincident within a 250-microsecond time window, while also monitoring Tube 10 in between.  The time distributions and neutron multiplicities indicate that a small fraction of the cosmic ray events that triggered both Tubes 2 and 18 also led to neutron events on Tube 10 with an enhanced rate of high multiplicity, indicating a few air shower events that densely “carpeted” the neutron monitor, while the majority of such coincidences apparently involved a sparse distribution of isolated secondary particles near Tube 2 and near Tube 18 and not near the intermediate Tube 10, which is consistent with a cross-counter leader fraction dependence on the count rate of the second counter.  This research was supported by the postdoctoral research sponsorship of Mahidol University, Thailand, by grant RTA6280002 from Thailand Science Research and Innovation, and by grant NSRF from the Program Management Unit for Human Resources & Institutional Development, Research and Innovation, NXPO, Thailand [grant number B05F640051]. 

How to cite: Chaiwongkhot, K., Ruffolo, D., Chaiwongkhot, P., Sáiz, A., and Banglieng, C.: Coincident signals on multiple counters in a neutron monitor: Sparse vs. dense atmospheric secondary particles from cosmic ray showers , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5650, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5650, 2022.

09:40–09:46
|
EGU22-5376
Michael Aspinall et al.

The global network of neutron monitors comprises predominantly of the monitor standardised by Carmichael in 1964, the NM-64.  The design of these existing monitors and their instrumentation have changed very little over the last sixty years.  For example, their neutron detectors rely on gas filled proportional counters that are either filled with highly toxic boron trifluoride (BF3) or helium-3 (3He).  Almost the entire global supply of 3He is derived from a waste product of nuclear weapons programmes and, with the termination of such programmes and reducing nuclear weapons stockpile, the supply of 3He has become limited.  Consequently, 3He supply became strictly controlled in 2008 and its price has fluctuated since.  In some cases, new neutron monitors have reverted to BF3 filled counter tubes when the price of 3He has been at a premium.  Helium-3 filled proportional counters are also used extensively in radiation portal monitors deployed for homeland security and non-proliferation; objectives which have increased significantly over the last two decades.  The reduced production and increased demand for 3He has led to concerns over its supply and provided the research motivation for alternative neutron detection methods which are viable in terms of sensitivity, stability and gamma-rejection for certain applications.  One of these alternative technologies is based on boron-coated straws (BCS) manufactured and supplied by Proportional Technologies, Inc (PTI).  The technology is built on a patented low-cost technology that enables long copper tubes, known as ‘straws’, to be coated on the inside with a thin layer of 10B-enriched boron carbide (10B4C).  Thermal neutrons captured in the 10B are converted into secondary particles, through the 10B(n, α) reaction.  The straws can be of various diameter (circa 4 mm to 15 mm), length (up to 2 m) and shape (round, star or pie) to increase the surface area of 10B.  Multiple straws can be packed inside a 1” diameter aluminium tube acting as a single drop-in replacement for traditional 3He detectors or individually distributed directly throughout the moderating medium, thus increasing efficiency by detecting the thermal neutrons at the point that they are created.  BCS-based detectors are widely used in systems for homeland security, safeguards and neutron imaging in direct exchange for 3He tubes.  This study aims to design a neutron monitor utilising BCS technology that is cheaper, more compact and produces comparable results to the existing network of NM-64 monitors.  Monte Carlo simulations using the MCNP radiation transport code to model several BCS-based solutions and an NM-64 computational benchmark are reported.  These models are validated experimentally using a standard PTI portal monitor (PTI-110-NDME) to determine its efficiency, dieaway, deadtime and gamma rejection using a combination of bare 252Cf, AmLi and 137Cs sources.  The PTI-110-NDME consists of a 12” x 5” x 1 m high density polyethylene (HDPE) slab with thirty ~15-mm diameter straws, 93 cm active length, embedded uniformly throughout the moderator.  Funded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), this research is part of the Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk (SWIMMR) programme.

How to cite: Aspinall, M., Binnersley, C., Bradnam, S., Croft, S., Joyce, M., Packer, L., and Wild, J.: Boron-coated straw detector technology as an alternative to helium-3 and boron trifluoride based proportional counters for ground level neutron monitoring: a design study., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5376, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5376, 2022.

09:46–09:52
|
EGU22-6352
Pierre-Simon Mangeard et al.

The flux of low-energy (GeV-range) Galactic cosmic rays at Earth is modulated by the long term magnetic variations of the Sun (11-year sunspot cycle and 22-year magnetic solar cycle). This process known as Solar modulation is most pronounced at 1 GeV and below. However, it also operates at much higher energy, still exhibiting solar magnetic polarity dependence. For the last decades, ground-based neutron monitors provided valuable observations of the solar modulation up to a rigidity cutoff of about 17 GV. To extend the energy range of the neutron monitor observations, we recently upgraded the electronics of the Princess Sirindhorn Neutron Monitor in Thailand (PSNM, the operating neutron monitor at the highest geomagnetic rigidity cutoff) to record complex combinations of hits in multiple proportional counters. We present here the detection of multiple-hit events recorded at the PSNM. We discuss these observations with the help of a detailed Monte-Carlo simulation of energetic neutrons interacting in the detector. Finally, we estimate the nucleonic spectrum of the atmospheric secondary particles at the altitude of the detector.

How to cite: Mangeard, P.-S., Clem, J., Evenson, P., Nuntiyakul, W., Ruffolo, D., Sáiz, A., Seripienlert, A., and Seunarine, S.: Multiple interactions in a Neutron Monitor, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6352, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6352, 2022.