There are currently multiple research groups working on scientific topics related to ANDES. The objective is to prepare for the construction, installation and future start-up and operation of the underground laboratory. Some of these activities are detailed below.
The Instituto de Tecnologías en Detección de Astropartículas (ITeDA) is the main astroparticle physics institute in Argentina. Its director is responsible for the ANDES project at the National Atomic Energy Commission (resolution).
Among its many lines of research is the study of muon propagation in rock. In particular, the muon flux that will exist in ANDES was studied in the framework of a thesis for a Bachelor's degree in Physics. This thesis was awarded the Masperi prize of the Argentine Physics Society.
In parallel, progress is being made in the construction of muon detectors. These detectors are based on the AMIGA counters, which were also developed and built at the institute, but within the framework of the Pierre Auger Observatory. The design and operation is being adapted to measure the directional muon flux in underground laboratories.
A first muon detection is planned for the Casposo mine (San Juan, Argentina). This will allow the training of human resources with knowledge on the operation of experiments in underground environments.
The use of cryogenic MMC detectors (metallic magnetic calorimeters) for particle physics is another area of work at ITeDA that may have an impact on the ANDES project. These detectors are being developed in the framework of the QUBIC project, and are promising for the search for dark matter and neutrino physics due to their high accuracy as well as their very low thermal noise.
More information about ITeDA and its activities can be found on the institute web page.
The Particle and Radiation Detection Laboratory (Centro Atómico Bariloche, Argentina) has a main research line related to the use of multipixel silicon sensors (CCD) for the area of particle physics. In particular, it works on the development of the new generation of CCD (skipper-CCD) with the lowest detection threshold possible in silicon. The laboratory participates in the leading experiment in the field (SENSEI), and in the next generation experiments (DAMIC-M and OSCURA).
The experience acquired on skipper-ccd sensors allowed the laboratory to start in 2019 an experiment looking for the daily modulation of dark matter. This experiment is called DM2 (DM-square).
More information about the Particle and Radiation Detection Laboratory and its activities can be found on the laboratory website.