TARA: Forward-scattered radar detection of UHECR at the telescope array

J. Belz, M. Abu Bakr Othman, C. Allen, E. Barcikowski, D. Besson, B. Farhang-Boroujeny, D. Ikeda, W. Hanlon, S. Kunwar, J. P. Lundquist, I. Kravchenko, S. Larson, I. Myers, T. Nakamura, J. S. Rankin, H. Sagawa, P. Sokolsky, H. Takai, T. Terasawa, G. B. Thomson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Increased event statistics will be required to definitively answer the question of the origin(s) of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECR). Using current technologies however, achieving the necessary statistics may be financially and practically impossible. We describe the status and plans of the TARA project, an effort to detect Ultra-High-Energy Cosmic Rays by their forward scattered or "bistatic" radar signature. Bistatic radar holds promise as a new remote sensing technique for UHECR, without the duty cycle limitations of nitrogen fluorescence detectors. Such a technique could prove key in advancing the study of UHECR beyond the constraints of the current generation of cosmic ray observatories. TARA consists of a low-VHF television transmitter illuminating the air above the Telescope Array (TA), and a set of radio receivers on the far side of TA approximately 50 km distant from the transmitter. We have collected radar data since April 2011 using a 2 kW transmitter at 54.1 MHz. Recently, we received permission to increase our broadcast power to 40 kW and our effective radiated power (ERP) to 6 MW. On the receiver end, we are employing software-defined radio receivers and developing real-time trigger algorithms based on the expected air shower radar echo. In addition to presenting an overview of the project status and future plans, we will present the most recent results of searches for coincidences between radar echoes and Telescope Array air shower events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUHECR 2012 - International Symposium on Future Directions in UHECR Physics
StatePublished - 2013
Event2012 International Symposium on Future Directions in Ultra High Energy Cosmic Ray Physics, UHECR 2012 - Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: Feb 13 2012Feb 16 2012

Publication series

NameEPJ Web of Conferences
ISSN (Print)2101-6275
ISSN (Electronic)2100-014X


Other2012 International Symposium on Future Directions in Ultra High Energy Cosmic Ray Physics, UHECR 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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