March 1, 2023
Journal Article

SYNCA: A Synthetic Cyclotron Antenna for the Project 8 Collaboration


Cyclotron Radiation Emission Spectroscopy (CRES) is a technique for measuring the kinetic energy of charged particles through a precision measurement of the frequency of the cyclotron radiation generated by the particle trajectory in a magnetic field. The Project 8 collaboration is developing a next-generation neutrino mass measurement experiment based on CRES. One approach is to use a phased antenna array, which surrounds a volume of tritium gas, to detect and measure the cyclotron radiation of the resulting V-decay electrons. To validate the feasibility of this method, Project 8 has designed a test stand experiment to benchmark the performance of an antenna array at reconstructing signals that mimic those of genuine CRES events. To generate synthetic CRES events, a novel probe antenna has been developed, which emits radiation with characteristics similar to the cyclotron radiation produced by charged particles in magnetic fields. This paper outlines the design, construction, and characterization of this Synthetic Cyclotron Antenna (SYNCA). Furthermore, we perform a series of measurements that use the SYNCA to test the position reconstruction capabilities of the digital beamforming reconstruction technique. We find that the SYNCA produces radiation with characteristics closely matching those expected for cyclotron radiation and reproduces experimentally the phenomenology of digital beamforming simulations of true CRES signals.

Published: March 1, 2023


Ashtari Esfahani A., S. Boser, N.G. Buzinsky, M.C. Carmona-Benitez, C. Claessens, L. De Viveiros, and M. Fertl, et al. 2023. SYNCA: A Synthetic Cyclotron Antenna for the Project 8 Collaboration. Journal of Instrumentation 18, no. 1:Art. No. P01034. PNNL-SA-179092. doi:10.1088/1748-0221/18/01/P01034

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