ASTRI-Horn is a prototypal telescope of an imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope developed by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), proposed for the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) Observatory. The CTA Observatory represents the next generation of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes and will explore the very highenergy domain from a few tens of GeV up to few hundreds of TeV. It will be composed of large-, medium-, and small sized telescopes; ASTRI-Horn is an end-to-end prototype proposed for the Small Sized array.
The main scientific instrument of the ASTRI-Horn telescope is an innovative and compact Camera with Silicon- Photomultiplier based detectors and a specifically designed fast read-out electronics based on a custom peak-detector mode. The thermo-mechanical assembly is designed to host both the entire electronics chain, from the sensors to the raw data transmission system and the calibration system, and the complete thermoregulation system.
This contribution gives a high level description of the T/M and electrical design of the Cherenkov Camera, it describes the assembling procedure of its different subsystems and their integration into the complete camera system. A discussion about possible design improvements coming from the problems/difficulties encountered during assembly is also presented. Finally, results from engineering tests conducted in-field are also presented.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) foresees, in its southern site (Chile), the implementation of up to 70 small-sized telescopes (SSTs), which will extend the energy coverage up to hundreds of TeV. It has been proposed that one of the first set of CTA SSTs will be represented by the ASTRI mini-array, which includes (at least) nine ASTRI telescopes. The endto-end prototype of such telescopes, named the ASTRI SST-2M, is installed in Italy and it is now completing the overall commissioning and entering the science verification phase. ASTRI telescopes are characterized by an optical system based on a dual-mirror Schwarzschild-Couder design and a camera at the focal plane composed of silicon photomultiplier sensors managed by a fast read-out electronics specifically designed. Based on a custom peak-detector mode, the ASTRI camera electronics is designed to perform Cherenkov signal detection, trigger generation, digital conversion of the signals and data transmission to the camera server. In this contribution we will describe the main features of the ASTRI camera, its performance and results obtained during the commissioning phase of the ASTRI SST-2M prototype in view of the ASTRI mini-array implementation.
COMpton Polarimeter with Avalanche Silicon readout (COMPASS) is a research and development project that aims to measure the polarization of X-ray photons through Compton Scattering. The measurement is obtained by using a set of small rods of fast scintillation materials with both low-Z (as active scatterer) and high-Z (as absorber), all read-out with Silicon Photomultipliers. By this method we can operate scattering and absorbing elements in coincidence, in order to reduce the background.
In the laboratory we are characterising the SiPMs using different types of scintillators and we are optimising the performances in terms of energy resolution, energy threshold and photon tagging efficiency.
We aim to study the design of two types of satellite-borne instruments: a focal plane polarimeter to be coupled with multilayer optics for hard X-rays and a large area and wide field of view polarimeter for transients and Gamma Ray Bursts.
In this paper we describe the status of the COMPASS project, we report about the laboratory measurements and we describe our future perspectives.
ASTRI SST-2M is an Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope (IACT) developed by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics, INAF. It is the prototype of the ASTRI telescopes proposed to be installed at the southern site of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA. The optical system of the ASTRI telescopes is based on a dual mirror configuration, an innovative solution for IACTs, and the focal plane of the camera is composed of silicon photo-multipliers (SiPM), a recently developed technology for light detection, that exhibit very fast response and an excellent single photoelectron resolution. The ASTRI camera electronics is specifically designed to directly interface the SiPM sensors, detecting the fast pulses produced by the Cherenkov flashes, managing the trigger generation, the digital conversion of the signals and the transmission of the data to an external camera server connected through a LAN. In this contribution we present the general architecture of the camera electronics developed for the ASTRI SST-2M prototype, with special emphasis to some innovative solutions.
The Cherenkov Imaging Telescope Integrated Read Out Chip, CITIROC, is the front-end chip of the camera for the ASTRI SST-2M, one of the prototypes for the small sized telescopes of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA. The telescope, operating in the energy range from a few TeV to beyond 300 TeV, is characterized by innovative technological solutions. The optical system is arranged in a dual-mirror configuration and the focal plane camera consists of a matrix of multi-pixel Silicon Photo-Multipliers. Among others, one of the most important project issue consists in the thermal characterization of the camera that, in the ASTRI SST-2M prototype, is thermo-controlled in a narrow temperature range. A set of at least nine similar telescopes will form the ASTRI mini-array proposed to be installed at the CTA southern site. In the cameras of the ASTRI mini-array telescopes the thermal control could be relaxed with a considerable gain in terms of power consumption, cost and simplicity. So, a study of the temperature dependence of the camera components is needed. The present work addresses this issue showing the results of the measurements carried out on CITIROC as a function of the temperature. We focused our investigation on the pedestal stability, linearity of the charge output signal, preamplifier gain and trigger uniformity in the temperature range 15-30°C. Our results show, for each of the above-mentioned measurable quantities, that temperature dependency is at the level of a few percent.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a worldwide new generation project aimed at realizing an array of a hundred ground based gamma-ray telescopes. ASTRI (Astrofisica con Specchi a Tecnologia Replicante Italiana) is the Italian project whose primary target is the development of an end-to-end prototype, named ASTRI SST-2M, of the CTA small size class of telescopes devoted to investigation of the highest energy region, from 1 to 100 TeV. Next target is the implementation of an ASTRI/CTA mini-array based on seven identical telescopes. Silicon Photo-Multipliers (SiPMs) are the semiconductor photosensor devices designated to constitute the camera detection system at the focal plane of the ASTRI telescopes. SiPM photosensors are suitable for the detection of the Cherenkov flashes, since they are very fast and sensitive to the light in the 300-700nm wavelength spectrum. Their drawbacks compared to the traditional photomultiplier tubes are high dark count rates, after-pulsing and optical cross-talk contributions, and intrinsic gains strongly dependent on temperature. Nonetheless, for a single pixel, the dark count rate is well below the Night Sky Background, the effects of cross-talk and afterpulses are typically lower than 20%, and the gain can be kept stable against temperature variations by means of adequate bias voltage compensation strategies. This work presents and discusses some experimental results from a large set of measurements performed on the SiPM sensors to be used for the ASTRI SST-2M prototype camera and on recently developed detectors demonstrating outstanding performance for the future evolution of the project in the ASTRI/CTA mini-array.
In the context of the Cherenkov Telescope Array observatory project, the ASTRI SST-2M end-to-end prototype
telescope, entirely supported by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics, is designed to detect cosmic primary
gamma ray energies from few TeV up to hundreds of TeV. The ASTRI SST-2M prototype camera is part of the
challenging synergy of novel optical design, camera sensors, front-end electronics and telescope structure design. The
camera is devoted to imaging and recording the Cherenkov images of air showers induced by primary particles into the
Earth’s atmosphere. In order to match the energy range mentioned above, the camera must be able to trigger events
within a few tens of nanoseconds with high detection efficiency. This is obtained by combining silicon photo-multiplier
sensors and suitable front-end electronics. Due to the characteristic imprint of the Cherenkov image that is a function of
the shower core distance, the signal dynamic range of the pixels and consequently of the front-end electronics must span
three orders of magnitude (1:1000 photo-electrons). These and many other features of the ASTRI SST-2M prototype
camera will be reported in this contribution together with a complete overview of the mechanical and thermodynamic