ePlanning DOI-BLM-UT-W020-2017-0019-EA (Telescope Array Times Four (TAx4))  
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05/22/2017 13:00:22 MDT
Project Summary
The Telescope Array Cosmic Ray (TA) Project is an multi-national experiment enabling the international astrophysics community of scientists to better understand the nature and origin of cosmic rays. The project will add to man’s knowledge of the universe. The project will acquire basic cosmic ray data by combining two techniques traditionally employed in this kind of experiment: 1) a ground array of various types of surface detectors that will sample cosmic ray induced extensive air showers as they disappear into the ground, and 2) fluorescence detectors (FD) which will image the development of cosmic ray air showers in the atmosphere.

The University of Utah, Department of Physics (University) has been operating the TA Project near Delta, Utah since 2006. The University prepared a Plan of Development (POD) for the initial phase of the project, referred to as the TA Project, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in February 2006. The TA Project was approved in May 2006, UTU-80712, and implemented as described in the POD dated April 28, 2006.  The TA Project was installed over a three-year period from 2006 through 2009.
In 2013, the University submitted the first amendment to the 2006 POD to add another phase to of the project referred to as the Telescope Array Low Energy Extension (TALE) Project. The TALE Project added additional SDs, similar to those installed for the TA Project, adjacent to the existing SDs. This amendment was approved by the BLM in 2013, UTU-80712, Amendment #1. Some of the approved additional TALE SDs were deployed in 2013. The University plans to deploy the remaining TALE SDs in early 2017.

In 2014, the University submitted the second amendment to the 2006 POD to add additional components to the TA Project’s existing Central Laser Facility (CLF). These additional components provided the University with further information on cosmic rays. This amendment was approved by the BLM in 2014, UTU-80712, Amendment #2, and the additional components were installed in 2014.
This ROW application is for the third amendment to the ROW grant UTU-80712 which describes the University’s proposal to add another phase to the Telescope Array Cosmic Ray Project, referred to as the TAx4 Project.

The original phase of the Telescope Array Cosmic Ray Project, the TA Project, was  designed to study ultra-high energy cosmic rays of energies above about 10^18 eV. The second phase of the project, the TALE Project, was designed to study ultra-high energy cosmic rays of energies above about 3x10^16 eV, lowering the minimum energy of the TA/TALE Project by more than an order of magnitude. The combined TA/TALE Project has an extremely wide energy range in the ultra-high energy field, covering more than four orders of magnitude in energy with one cross calibrated set of detectors.  The TAx4 Project is proposed to confirm the location of a “hotspot” that may be the possible origin of the highest energy cosmic rays.  In order to verify the observation and call it a true discovery in a timely manner, the University needs to observe cosmic rays over a broader project area.

The University proposes to expand their existing TA Project/TA Low Energy Extension (TALE) Project so that the total project area is a factor of four times larger than the present TA/TALE Project.  This proposed expansion project is referred to as the Telescope Array Times Four (TAx4) Project. The University submitted a right-of-way (ROW) application to amend their TA Project ROW grant, UTU-80712.  The TAx4 Project would be UTU-80712, Amendment 3. 

The project components used for the TA/TALE Project would be the same used for the proposed TAx4 Project and would include the following components:
  • - 553 scintillator detectors (SD) placed on BLM, SITLA, and UDWR lands to the north-east and south-east of the existing project area
    - Installation of a new smaller florescence detector (FD) site and an expansion of two existing FD sites, each located on SITLA lands
    - Installation of ten new communication towers
One new component of the TAx4 Project is the addition of six 3,000 gallon water tank detectors which are proposed to be installed adjacent to existing TA SDs. In addition, the TAx4 Project is requesting installation of anti-perching devices on the new solar panels and antennas as well as those existing solar panels and antennas where bird perching has caused issues. And use of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) to access the proposed TAx4 Project’s SDs during operation and maintenance activities.
The TAx4 project components would operate as one experiment with those of the existing TA/TALE Project.  The 553 TAx4 SD’s spacing would increase from 0.75 miles (1.2 km.) apart at TA, and 0.25 to 0.37 miles (400 m to 600 m) apart at TALE to 1.30 miles (2.08 km) at TAx4.
The total design of the combined TA/TALE/TAx4 Project would contain 1,163 SDs, 4 FD sites, 14 communication towers, a central laser facility (CLF) (existing), 59 staging areas, 6 water tank detectors, and a data processing center in Delta (existing). 
Deployment/construction of the TAx4 Project facilities would follow the same methods as the TA Project. The University would like to have the project constructed before March 2019 and requests a 20-year ROW grant.

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