27 July 2016 Feasibility study of airborne calibration of the Cherenkov Telescope Array
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Abstract
The advances in battery life, flight control software and carbon fibre technology over recent years have made the use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as an airborne calibration platform for astronomical facilities a possibility. This is especially attractive for arrays of telescopes spread over a large area such as the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). It is envisaged that the CTA will use UAVs to perform a range of calibration routines, with the primary routines being the cross-calibration of the optical throughput for different telescope types, as well as monitoring of the multi-wavelength performance of CTA's telescopes and the characterisation of the atmosphere above CTA. In this contribution, the cross-calibrating performance of an airborne calibration device is described, together with some preliminary test flights to characterise the flight performance of a UAV carrying the calibration payload.
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Anthony M. Brown, Anthony M. Brown, Paula M. Chadwick, Paula M. Chadwick, Miranda Frizzelle, Miranda Frizzelle, Markus Gaug, Markus Gaug, Paul Clark, Paul Clark, Jamie Graham, Jamie Graham, Thomas Armstrong, Thomas Armstrong, } "Feasibility study of airborne calibration of the Cherenkov Telescope Array", Proc. SPIE 9906, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI, 99061W (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231409; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231409
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