WHERE

The EARTH programme is a concerted effort of people in several countries. In South Africa the first experimental testing of detectors took place and Monte Carlo simulations were started as a backbone for detector development. The activities take place in a tight collaboration between the Universities of Cape Town, of Stellenbosch, of the Western Cape and the National Research Facility iThemba LABS (www.tlabs.ac.za). Here new types of detectors will be tested, to determine the best scintillating material before the GiZA detector will be installed at the nuclear power reactor at Koeberg, about 30km north of Cape Town.

In the Netherlands, the GiZA detector was initially designed and optically optimised. The latter was carried out by the optics division of ASTRON at Dwingeloo. At the University of Groningen algorithms were developed for digital pulse analysis. Boron loaded plastic detectors of EARTH were used in this development. Since the middle of 2008 EARTH became a part of the programme of the Stichting (Foundation) Sensor Universe (www.sensoruniverse.com), an initiative of the three northern provinces in the Netherlands to stimulate sensor development by creating a platform for collaboration between industry, research and government. The initiative is a logical spin-off of LOFAR developed at ASTRON (www.lofar.org). Part of the Sensor Universe initiative will be a top-technological institute in Assen. It is foreseen that EARTH will collaborate and benefit from this development. At present EARTH is incorporated into one of the Sensor Universe projects (Geolofar).

Collaboration is also forming through the Physics department of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. This collaboration focuses mainly on background reduction techniques. Jyväskylä is developing a new type of anti-muon shield in collaboration with physicist of the Institute for Nuclear Research, Russian Academy of Sciences at Moscow. These detectors are being developed for ALICEat LHC/CERN and for underground measurements at the CUPP, Centre for Underground Physics at the Pyhäsalmi zinc and copper mine at Pyhäjärvi, Finland (http://cupp.oulu.fi/). For EARTH it is anticipated to compare these background shielding detectors with the traditional detectors, first in South Africa and later possibly in Finland at the Pyhäsalmi mine.

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