Work on the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) at the Bodhi West Hills Reserved Forest in Tamil Nadu will begin by December.
“We have applied to the Tamil Nadu government for land acquisition. We are told the file has reached the chief minister’s table,” Naba Mondal, INO spokesperson from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, said on Thursday.
Once the clearance comes through, pre-project activities such as fencing the area, widening the road and making provisions for water supply will commence. The observatory will study atmospheric neutrinos produced by cosmic rays in the earth’s atmosphere. The neutrinos are key to understanding the evolution of the universe, energy production mechanisms in the Sun and other stars.
“It will take four years to complete the construction and the experiments will start in 2017. We are working on building the prototype of the detectors and magnetic ion calorimeter,” he said.
India has collaborated with US-based Fermilab in building equipment. “We will share technology with India,” said Piermaria Oddone, director, Fermilab.