Building on the technology of current generation ground-based gamma-ray detectors (H.E.S.S., VERITAS and MAGIC), CTA will be 5 to 20 times more sensitive, depending on gamma-ray energy, and have unprecedented accuracy in its detection of high-energy gamma rays. Current gamma-ray telescope arrays host up to five individual telescopes, but CTA is designed to detect gamma rays over a larger area and a wider field of view.
Prototypes for the major CTA subsystems including the various size telescopes and cameras have been developed and built at different places. CTA is currently preparing for the full construction phase, both technically and organizationally, with the goal to achieve first light by the year 2022 and completion by 2024/25.
CTA will be the first ground-based gamma-ray observatory open to the worldwide astronomical and particle physics communities as a resource for data from unique, high-energy astronomical observations.