Improvement in Fast Particle Track Reconstruction with Robust Statistics

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M.G. Aartsen, R. Abbasi, Y. Abdou, M. Ackermann, J. Adams, J.A. Aguilar, M. Ahlers, D. Altmann, J. Auffenberg, X. Bai, M. Baker, Subir Sarkar, David Jason Koskinen

The IceCube project has transformed one cubic kilometer of deep natural Antarctic ice into a Cherenkov detector. Muon neutrinos are detected and their direction inferred by mapping the light produced by the secondary muon track inside the volume instrumented with photomultipliers. Reconstructing the muon track from the observed light is challenging due to noise, light scattering in the ice medium, and the possibility of simultaneously having multiple muons inside the detector, resulting from the large flux of cosmic ray muons. This manuscript describes work on two problems: (1) the track reconstruction problem, in which, given a set of observations, the goal is to recover the track of a muon; and (2) the coincident event problem, which is to determine how many muons are active in the detector during a time window. Rather than solving these problems by developing more complex physical models that are applied at later stages of the analysis, our approach is to augment the detectors early reconstruction with data filters and robust statistical techniques. These can be implemented at the level of on-line reconstruction and, therefore, improve all subsequent reconstructions. Using the metric of median angular resolution, a standard metric for track reconstruction, we improve the accuracy in the initial reconstruction direction by 13%. We also present improvements in measuring the number of muons in coincident events: we can accurately determine the number of muons 98% of the time, which is an improvement of 66% over the software previously used in IceCube.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Volume736
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
ISSN0168-9002
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

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