HiSPARC station layout

Each HiSPARC station has a GPS antenne and either 2 or 4 scintillator detectors. This GPS is used to determine the exact location of the station. However, the GPS is often not at the center of the station, moreover, not all stations are oriented the same way, and the distances between detector may differ. For reconstruction of the measured data it is important to know the location of each detector, this section explains how the location of the detectors can be measured and communicated to us.

Compass coordinates

The coordinate system we have chosen for describing the position of detectors is illustrated in the following figure.


For each detector 3 (or 4) coordinates need to be determined:

  • First the distance (r) from the GPS to the center of the scintillator (in meters).
  • Next the alpha angle (α) which is the clock-wise turning angle between North and the detector as seen from the GPS (in degrees).
  • A height (z) coordinate can be measured if there is a significant altitude difference between the GPS antenna and the detectors, or if the detectors are not at the same height. Up is positive (in meters).
  • The rotation of the detector is described by the beta angle (β), which is the clock-wise turning rotation of the long side of the detector relative to North (in degrees).

For more information about the coordinate systems used in HiSPARC see: Coordinate systems and units in HiSPARC.

For Dutch schools we have an assignment sheet in the infopakket which walks students through the process of measuring the station layout: De stationsplattegrond.

Submitting the measurements

New layouts can be submitted via the layout submit form. A verification e-mail will be sent to the submitter. The submitted measurements will be reviewed before they are made available on the website and via the API.

Accessing the data

The detector coordinates can be accessed via the API. These can, for example, be used when analysing data or when making a schematic drawing of the station layout.