The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next generation ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy at very high energies in the range from 20 GeV to 300 TeV.<sup>1</sup> In order to cover the entire sky an observatory with two telescope arrays is planned, one in the southern hemisphere and one in the northern hemisphere. Each site will combine imaging air Cherenkov telescopes of different sizes and designs to cover the very wide energy range. These sites will complement each other, providing full-sky coverage for galactic and extra-galactic sources. At least three telescope types are required to cover the full CTA energy range in a cost-effective way. The sensitivity in the core energy range between 150 GeV and 5 TeV will be dominated by up to 40 Medium Size Telescopes (MSTs) distributed over both observatory sites. It is intended to equip the MSTs with FlashCam and NectarCAM cameras. This document describes the aspects of the MST design and the status of commissioning and performance validation of the individual assemblies.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the next-generation ground-based detector for gamma rays with very high energies. Telescopes will be located at one site each in both the northern and southern hemisphere. The arrays will comprise, in total, more than 100 telescopes of different sizes and designs. The sensitivity of CTA in its central energy range, i.e. between approximately 100 GeV and 1 TeV, will be driven by the performance of the Medium-Sized Telescopes (MSTs). This performance crucially depends on an exact alignment of the facets of the tessellated mirror surface of each telescope. In this contribution, an automated mirror alignment procedure for MSTs is presented. This procedure consists of two steps. First a rough mirror alignment is achieved with the socalled Bokeh method, which is based on the non-focused imaging of an artificial light source onto the Cherenkov camera plane. Afterwards, an optimal mirror alignment is achieved with an alignment procedure based on the focused imaging of stars. Here, the Bokeh method will be described in detail, including the hardware and software setups, devised technologies and pattern recognition with classical and neural network-based methods. Also results from star alignment procedures are given and compared to results from the Bokeh method. The performance of the presented approach is demonstrated with results obtained from measurements at the MST prototype installation in Berlin, Germany.
Today the scientific community is facing an increasing complexity of the scientific projects, from both a technological and a management point of view. The reason for this is in the advance of science itself, where new experiments with unprecedented levels of accuracy, precision and coverage (time and spatial) are realised. Astronomy is one of the fields of the physical sciences where a strong interaction between the scientists, the instrument and software developers is necessary to achieve the goals of any Big Science Project. The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the largest ground-based very high-energy gamma-ray observatory of the next decades. To achieve the full potential of the CTA Observatory, the system must be put into place to enable users to operate the telescopes productively. The software will cover all stages of the CTA system, from the preparation of the observing proposals to the final data reduction, and must also fit into the overall system. Scientists, engineers, operators and others will use the system to operate the Observatory, hence they should be involved in the design process from the beginning. We have organised a workgroup and a workflow for the definition of the CTA Top Level Use Cases in the context of the Requirement Management activities of the CTA Observatory. Scientists, instrument and software developers are collaborating and sharing information to provide a common and general understanding of the Observatory from a functional point of view. Scientists that will use the CTA Observatory will provide mainly Science Driven Use Cases, whereas software engineers will subsequently provide more detailed Use Cases, comments and feedbacks. The main purposes are to define observing modes and strategies, and to provide a framework for the flow down of the Use Cases and requirements to check missing requirements and the already developed Use-Case models at CTA sub-system level. Use Cases will also provide the basis for the definition of the Acceptance Test Plan for the validation of the overall CTA system. In this contribution we present the organisation and the workflow of the Top Level Use Cases workgroup.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the next generation ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy, covering an energy range from a few tens of GeV to a few hundred TeV. The CTA project is currently in the design and prototyping phase, the start of construction is planned for 2016. The planned sensitivity of CTA improves on current ground based Cherenkov telescope experiments by about an order of magnitude. In the core energy range this sensitivity will be dominated by up to 40 Medium-Sized Telescopes (MSTs). These telescopes, of a modified Davies-Cotton mount type with a reflector diameter of 12 m, are currently being prototyped. A full-size mechanical prototype has been operating in Berlin since 2012. Several types of prototype mirrors have been developed and tested, and are mounted on the telescope. CCD cameras with various lenses are mounted on the prototype for studying deformation of the structure, testing alignment techniques, and telescope pointing using astrometry methods. The report will focus on results of optical and structural measurements, commissioning and testing of the MST prototype in Berlin, as well as the final design.