Calibration of the LOFAR low-band antennas using the Galaxy and a model of the signal chain

K. Mulrey, A. Bonardi, S. Buitink, A. Corstanje, H. Falcke, B. M. Hare, J. R. Hörandel, T. Huege, P. Mitra, A. Nelles, J. P. Rachen, L. Rossetto, P. Schellart, O. Scholten, S. ter Veen, S. Thoudam, T. N.G. Trinh, T. Winchen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) is used to make precise measurements of radio emission from extensive air showers, yielding information about the primary cosmic ray. Interpreting the measured data requires an absolute and frequency-dependent calibration of the LOFAR system response. This is particularly important for spectral analyses, because the shape of the detected signal holds information about the shower development. We revisit the calibration of the LOFAR antennas in the range of 30–80 MHz. Using the Galactic emission and a detailed model of the LOFAR signal chain, we find an improved calibration that provides an absolute energy scale and allows for the study of frequency dependent features in measured signals. With the new calibration, systematic uncertainties of 13% are reached, and comparisons of the spectral shape of calibrated data with simulations show promising agreement.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Volume111
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Air showers
  • Calibration
  • Radio antenna array

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