Experimental Demonstrative Project/PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2016-0339, ‘Innovative Monte Carlo simulations of ultra high energy cosmic rays induced air showers measured at the Pierre Auger Observatory using distributed computing infrastructure – SimDist’, 2017-2018

Project Organization

Coordinator (CO): Institute of Space Science (ISS)

Project Manager (CO): Dr. Paula Gina Isar


Ultra high energy cosmic rays remain a mystery after more than a century since their discovery. With increasing the energy the flux of primary particles decreases. Thus, in order to measure cosmic rays indirectly from the Earth through their induced air showers in the Earth’s atmosphere, one needs a large surface detector array, such as the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina. Auger measure such astroparticles with super-hybrid detectors which now are facing the upgrade to continue measurements with improved apparatus until 2025. Through measured cosmic ray induced air showers (secondary particles developed in the air at the interaction of the primary with atmospheric molecules) one can reconstruct the energy of the primary particle, its mass and the incoming direction, in order to be able to point back to the sky and try to locate the source origin. For simulating an event of about 10 to 20 eV, one needs much time consuming and plenty of disk space. For this we use distributed computing (GRID) in order to produce bulk simulations and store their large volume of output files. In this project we will contribute to the development of the distributed computing in frame of Auger GRID Virtual Organization in order to increase the efficiency of the Monte Carlo simulations of cosmic ray induced air showers observed at Auger. Moreover, the Auger Upgraded will deliver increased statistics in the ultra high energy range, facilitating thus the unique opportunity to elucidate the origin and properties of the most energetic and rare cosmic rays. In addition, the project will offer a great framework for researchers and students to contribute institutionally and nationally to the international approach of the astroparticle physics studied at the world’s largest cosmic ray experiment Pierre Auger. Last but not least, the project will increase the awareness of science among a large audience, employing also outreach and education activities for disseminating project results.

Project goal

The project’s objective is to perform automatized bulk simulations using Distributed Computing (Auger GRID VO) to monitor and store the data in large volume accessible to Auger users worldwide for physics data analysis.

Reached results

The estimated results are the following: software and hardware products in support to high performance computing and monitoring of Auger data; educational-kit for a Workshop/MasterClass; scientific and awareness communications and publications; project’s webpage; intermediate and final scientific and technical reports.


Phase I (done, end of 2017)

Phase II (done, end of 2018)


  1. AERA meeting at University Wuppertal (talk contribution) + work visit at Karlsruhe Institute of Tehnology,  27 Sept. – 7 Oct., 2017, Germany – done
  2. Aerospace Europe CEAS Conference (exhibitor in frame of the ISS team), 19-20 October, 2017, Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest, Romania – done
  3. Salonul Cercetarii Romanesti „Conceput in Romania” (exhibitor in frame of the ISS team), 27 October, 2017, Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest, Romania – done
  4. 2nd technical meeting of the IEEE Romania Section – Antennas and Propagation Society Chapter (talk contribution), 23 November, 2017, UPB – Centrul de Cercetări Avansate pentru Materiale, Produse şi Procese Inovative (CAMPUS), Bucuresti, Romania – done
  5. Communication Session at the Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, (talk contribution and ISI Proceedings Article submitted to RRP), 21-22 June 2018 – done
  6. Women Scientists Who Made Nuclear Astrophysics (poster), Proc. of Intl. Conf. „Nuclei in the Cosmos XV”, LNGS Assergi, Italy, June 2018 – done
  7. Auger Remote Shift at KIT – Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (shift report of taken measurements), Germany, July 4 – 22, 2018 – done
  8. Workshop SimDist, (Scientific session with talks and round table discussions), Institute of Space Science, Bucharest-Magurele, 14 Sept. 2018 – done
  9. 75 Years of Geomagnetic Measurements of the Romanian Centenary, Geological National Museum and  Surlari Observatory (talk contribution), 16-17 Oct., 2018 – done
  10. ISAPP School 2018, „LHC meets cosmic rays” (poster contribution), CERN, 28 Oct. – 2 Nov., 2018 – done


  1. Bucharest Science Festival, Museum of Geology,  (exhibitor in frame of the ISS team) Bucharest, 29 Sept., 2017 – done
  2. Sci+Fi Fest, National Library, (exhibitor in frame of the ISS team) Bucharest, 30 Sept. – 1 Oct., 2017 – done
  3. Scoala Altfel, 26 October 2017, visit of about 50 gymnasium pupils together with teachers and parents from Constanta at the ISS – done
  4. „Researcher Day” at Physics Faculty, University of Bucharest (talk contribution), 16 November, 2017, Magurele, Romania – done
  5. AstroFest, Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei, 19 May 2018 – done
  6. Master Thesis: COSMOS: Framework for combining simulation and optimization software, University Politehnica Bucharest/Computer Science Faculty , June 2018 – done (work continued with PhD Thesis, start of Oct. 2018)
  7. Diploma Thesis: Introduction to cosmic ray air showers physics, University Bucharest/Physics Faculty, June 2018 – done (work continued with Master Thesis, start of Oct. 2018)
  8. A EAS browser display, an academic practical work release, June 2018
  9. Conferinta Fusion, Rezidenta Scena 9, Bucharest, (talk contribution) 10 September 2018 – done
  10. Sci+Fi fest, Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei, (organiser and exhibitor in frame of the ISS team) 15-16 Septembrie, 2018 –  done
  11. European Researcher Night -ERN, Promenada Mall, (organiser and exhibitor in frame of the ISS team) 28 September 2018 – done
  12. Science Hall (3 min talk contribution, see FaceBook posts), organized by British Council Romania, „FameLab” science show in frame of ERN, 28 sept. 2018, – done
  13. European Space Talks „Odiseea Spatiala in Romania”, (invited public talk) Verona-Carturesti Library, Bucharest, Romania, 28 Nov, 2018, – done


The Physics World Top Ten Breakthrough of 2017

  • goes to above 3 thousands of scientists working in nearly 60 collaborations worldwide on the “Multi-messenger Observations of a Binary Neutron Star Merger”; work publishes by The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, … The Pierre Auger Collaboration et al., in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 848:L12 (59pp), 2017 October 20.
  • another breakthrough of the year goes to the Pierre Auger Observatory’s work on “Observation of a Large-scale Anisotropy in the Arrival Directions of Cosmic Rays above 8×1018 eV”; work publishes by The Pierre Auger Collaboration in Science Vol. 357, Issue 6357, (1266-1279pp), 2017 September 22.

See other relevant posts on site and Facebook ISS

Photo Gallery

Workshop simdist at the remote control room
European Researchers Night at Promenada Mall
Technical meeting of the IEEE Romania Section
Hall of FameLab talking science
Sci+Fi Fest at the National Library
Astrofest at the National Library