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 Baikal-GVD is motivated by its discovery potential in astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics. Its primary goal is the detailed study the flux of high-energy cosmic neutrinos and the search for their sources. Baikal-GVD 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 deploying the first of eight cluster in their baseline configuration, consisting of 288 optical modules. Completion 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.