Description of the research / set-up ( no more than 1500 characters)
KM3NeT is the next generation neutrino telescope. Once completed, it will have a detector volume of several cubic kilometres of clear sea water. Located in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea, it will study the Universe by means of detecting tiny elementary particles called neutrinos. With KM3NeT, scientists will detect neutrinos from distant astrophysical sources such as supernovae, gamma ray bursters or the supermassive black holes at the centres of distant galaxies.
An array of thousands of optical sensors will detect the faint light in the deep sea from charged particles originating from interactions of the neutrinos with the sea water. The facility will also house instrumentation for Earth and Sea sciences for long term and on-line monitoring of the deep sea environment and the sea bottom at depth of several kilometres.
Shown on the stand are a couple of detection units housing the optical sensors. They are connected by an innovative system designed to withstand the harsh environment of the deep sea, while controlling the cost of maintenance.
To stimulate the required innovations, several cooperative efforts are taking place with industry. In addition, the size of KM3NeT is sufficiently large to warrant the development of automated production techniques for these new components in industry. Both the newly developed components and production techniques are leading to new products for applications outside this research domain.