Jason Hardman was born in Hilo, Hawai’i. He is now completing his final semester at Hawai’i Community College. Majoring in Electronics Technology, Jason hopes to attend at University of Hawai’i at Hilo to possibly study Computer Science. Currently Jason is a member of the Hawai’i Air National Guard working mostly with communication equipment. With his huge fascination with electronics, astronomy, and computers he believes he has much to gain from this experience.

Institution when acceptedHawai’i Community College

Akamai Project: Constructing the High Energy Cosmic Ray Detector

Project Site: University of Hawai’i at Hilo

MentorsJohn Hamilton, Robert Fox and Yoichi Asaoka

Project Abstract:

The ASHRA experiment has been created to study high energy cosmic rays or Neutrino particles. Neutrinos are what make up the negatively charged particle we know as the electron. We are particularly interested in investigating the rare tau versions of the particle. To find this particle several detectors on Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaii will be constructed. These detectors are aimed at Mauna Kea. The mountain will act as a filter to block larger known particles except for the cosmic rays. This can occur because the Neutrinos are much smaller than electrons, neutrons, and protons and therefore they can pass through the mountain. The goal of this project was to construct one of these detectors, align the mirror within it as well as test its functionality. The detector parts were shipped by boat and were purchased or custom fabricated in Japan. Construction of the detector began with carefully placing each of the 12 foundation blocks. The walls, air conditioner, computer hardware, detector frame, mirrors and insulation were then added to the detector’s shelter. A laser and Charged Couple Device (CCD) sensor were installed over the detector frame in order to test the alignment of the mirrors and if the were able to properly reflect the laser to the CCD to send the image to the computer. Once the detector was verified, the roof was removed to install the image capturing device and lens system. We are expecting to discover signatures and detailed images of high-energy cosmic particles interacting in the atmosphere. Results and data will be presented.

Link to download PDF of Jason’s project presentation.