The Auger Observatory is a "hybrid detector", employing several independent methods to detect and study ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. One technique detects high-energy particles at ground level through their interaction with water in surface detector tanks. Another technique tracks the development of the air shower by observing ultra-violate fluorescence light emitted by the shower in the atmosphere. A third method detects radio-frequency radiation emitted by air showers using antennas. Finally, a fourth method of underground particle detectors, detects the muons in the shower at ground level. The hybrid nature of Auger provides for several independent ways to see cosmic rays, which has proved essential in calibrating the individual methods. They also provide complementary information on different aspects of the air shower. The surface and fluorescence detectors have been active for 20 years, while the radio and underground detectors are presently (2020) being produced and commissioned.
AugerPierre Auger Observatory
The Pierre Auger Observatory detects the highest-energy particle in our universe. It is aimed at discovering the sources of these particles, the unraveling of the acceleration mechanism and at the understanding the ultra-high-energy particle interactions they have in the atmosphere, in particular looking for physics beyond the Standard Model of elementary particles in an energy regime otherwise not available.