AERA © Raphael Krause

Extensive air showers originating from ultra high energy cosmic rays exhibit emissions of electromagnetic signals in the radio frequency range. Together with other detection techniques, radio measurements deliver complementary information on the electromagnetic shower component with a duty cycle close to 100%.

The Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA) is located within the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina which is the world’s largest detector for cosmic rays. It offers a well calibrated environment to test and develop future detector techniques and is therefore an optimal location for AERA. Currently, AERA constitutes the largest radio cosmic ray setup consisting of 150 autonomous radio stations and covering an area of 17 km2 .

In 2011 continuous data taking has started with several thousand cosmic ray events recorded so far. In measurements of air showers simultaneously with radio, fluorescence light and particle detectors, the sensitivity of the radio detection to cosmic ray properties such as arrival direction, energy and composition is being investigated.