Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/67198
Type: Thesis
Title: Cloud cameras at the Pierre Auger Observatory.
Author: Winnick, Michael G.
Issue Date: 2010
School/Discipline: School of Chemistry and Physics
Abstract: This thesis presents the results of measurements made by infrared cloud cameras installed at the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina. These cameras were used to record cloud conditions during operation of the observatory’s fluorescence detectors. As cloud may affect the measurement of fluorescence from cosmic ray extensive air showers, the cloud cameras provide a record of which measurements have been interfered with by cloud. Several image processing algorithms were developed, along with a methodology for the detection of cloud within infrared images taken by the cloud cameras. A graphical user interface (GUI) was developed to expediate this, as a large number of images need to be checked for cloud. A cross-check between images recorded by three of the observatory’s cloud cameras is presented, along with a comparison with independent cloud measurements made by LIDAR. Despite the cloud cameras and LIDAR observing different areas of the sky, a good agreement is observed in the measured cloud fraction between the two instruments, particularly on very clear and overcast nights. Cloud information recorded by the cloud cameras, with cloud height information measured by the LIDAR, was used to identify those extensive air showers that were obscured by cloud. These events were used to study the effectiveness of standard quality cuts at removing cloud afflicted events. Of all of the standard quality cuts studied in this thesis, the LIDAR cloud fraction cut was the most effective at preferentially removing cloud obscured events. A ‘cloudy pixel’ veto is also presented, whereby cloud obscured measurements are excluded during the standard hybrid analysis, and new extensive air shower reconstructed parameters determined. The application of such a veto would provide a slight increase to the number of events available for higher level analysis.
Advisor: Dawson, Bruce Robert
Clay, Roger William
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Chemistry and Physics, 2010
Keywords: cloud; infrared; Pierre Auger Observatory; image processing; astrophysics; cosmic rays; extensive air showers
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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