29 August 2017 Cherenkov Telescope Array: the next-generation gamma ray observatory
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Abstract
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a project to build the next generation ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy at very-high energies in the range from 20 GeV to 300 TeV, which will both surpass the sensitivity of existing instruments in their energy domains and extend the limits of the observed energy spectrum. It will probe some of the most energetic processes in the Universe and provide insight into topics such as the acceleration of charged cosmic rays and their role in galaxy evolution, processes in relativistic jets, wind and explosions and the nature and distribution of dark matter. The CTA Observatory will consist of more than a hundred imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACT) of three different size classes, installed at two premier astronomical locations, one in each hemisphere. It is foreseen that the telescopes will use a variety of optical designs including parabolic primary mirrors, variations of the Davies-Cotton design and two-mirror setups such as the Schwarzschild-Couder telescope, and several camera designs, using both photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) and silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for detection of the nanosecond-scale Cherenkov flashes. Each telescope will feature a precise but lightweight and agile mount, allowing even the largest telescopes to change targets within 20 seconds, with systems of sensors and actuators actively controlling the shape of the reflecting surfaces. As an integral part, the Observatory will feature extensive calibration facilities, closely monitoring both the detectors themselves and the surrounding atmosphere. Several telescope prototypes already exist and the installation works at the northern site have started.
Conference Presentation
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Jan Ebr, "Cherenkov Telescope Array: the next-generation gamma ray observatory", Proc. SPIE 10399, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VIII, 1039902 (29 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2273030; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2273030
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