The Baikal deep underwater neutrino telescope (or Baikal-GVD – Gigaton Volume Detector) is an international project in the field of astroparticle physics and neutrino astronomy. The construction of the Baikal-GVD neutrino telescope is motivated by its discovery potential in astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics. Its primary goal is the detailed study the diffuse flux of high-energy cosmic neutrinos and the search for their sources. It will also search for dark matter candidates, for neutrinos from the decay of super heavy particles, for magnetic monopoles and other exotic particles. It will also be a platform for environmental studies in Lake Baikal.
The preparatory phase of the project was concluded in 2015 with the deployment of a demonstration cluster comprising 192 optical modules. The construction of the first phase of Baikal GVD (GVD-I) was started in 2016 by deployment of the first cluster in its baseline configuration, consisting of 288 optical modules. Commissioning of GVD-I (8 clusters, volume 0.4 km3) is envisaged for 2021.
The Baikal-GVD Collaboration includes 9 institutions and organizations from 4 countries. The telescope is one of the three largest neutrino detectors in the world along with IceCube at the South Pole and ANTARES in the Mediterranean sea.