The IceCube Collaboration foresees to upgrade IceTop, the present surface array, with scintillation detectors augmented by radio antennas. As one of several goals the detectors will be used to measure and mitigate the effects of snow accumulation on the IceTop tanks: The increasing energy threshold and efficiency loss are nowadays the sources of the largest systematic uncertainties in shower reconstruction and mass composition analysis. In addition, the upgrade will provide useful experience for the development of next generation neutrino detectors proposed for the South Pole.
Beginning of 2018 two full prototype stations were installed near the center of the IceTop array. Each station features custom-designed electronics and consists of seven detectors, each having an active area of 1.5 m2 plastic scintillator and wavelength shifting fibers read out by a Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM).
In this talk the DAQ and detector R&D decicions, the calibrations methods and the performance are reviewed and results from more than one year of operation of the prototype station are shown. During that year several thousand air-shower events have been measured in coincidence with IceTop. ... mehrIn addition, the future plans for instrumenting the whole IceTop surface with scintillation detectors and radio antennas will be presented.