How

 

The aim can to be achieved by setting up a global network of underground antennas, each equipped with a manifold of small-sized, direction-sensitive antineutrino detector systems. The precise shape and location of these antennas will evolve as direction-sensitive detector systems are developed. One of the options is to investigate an antenna concept in which the detectors will be placed in a shallow underground laboratory. Combining the results of the global network of antennas will produce a tomographic image of the location and the extent of antineutrino emitting heat sources. It is expected that the global network will reach a resolution of about 3, corresponding to a resolution of about 300km at the centre of the Earth or 150km at the core-mantle boundary. From the energy of the antineutrinos a deduction can be made on the type of source emitting the antineutrinos.

Before this goal can be reached direction-sensitive detectors have to be developed from a conceptual basis via test detectors into a proto-type. After laboratory tests in which as many details will be checked and optimised, the detectors have to be demonstrated at a nuclear power plant, which is a strong source of antineutrinos. Aiming at the core of the reactor at various distances will allow determining the degree of direction sensitivity. Moreover such a test will show if the detectors are able measuring the status of the reactor (first on/off and after measuring the power level) and the composition of the fissile fuel, since the fission of 235U and 231Pu leads to energy spectra that differ in shape and intensity. If the direction sensitivity is high enough a 3D image of the reactor core should become available if several detectors are placed around the core.

If all goes well, at this stage a commercial product can be developed that will generate funding for the development of the larger antennas for global tomography.

 

Parallel to the detector development we investigate the properties of the radiogenic heat sources of the Earth. One of the topics is the question of the presence of georeactors in the Core-Mantle-Boundary (CMB) about half way the surface and the centre of the Earth both in the early days of out planet as well as at present. This geoscience aspect of the EARTH programme addresses among others the concentration of fissile material in the early Earth leading to concentrations that either by natural concentration processes or the impact of a smaller celestial body into the formation of the Moon following a nuclear explosion.

 

An overview of the present activities and their status is given in the most recent EARTH Progress Report (EARTH-PRP-010).

 
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