Development of a mid-sized Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope for the Cherenkov Telescope Array
Development of a mid-sized Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope for the Cherenkov Telescope Array The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a ground-based observatory for very high-energy (10 GeV to 100 TeV) gamma rays, planned for operation starting in 2018. It will be an array of dozens of optical telescopes, known as Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (ACTs), of 8 m to 24 m diameter, deployed over an area of more than 1 square km, to detect flashes of Cherenkov light from showers initiated in the Earth's atmosphere by gamma rays. CTA will have improved angular resolution, a wider energy range, larger fields of view and an order of magnitude improvement in sensitivity over current ACT arrays such as H.E.S.S., MAGIC and VERITAS. Several institutions have proposed a research and development program to eventually contribute 36 medium-sized telescopes (9 m to 12 m diameter) to CTA to enhance and optimize its science performance. The program aims to construct a prototype of an innovative, Schwarzschild-Couder telescope (SCT) design that will allow much smaller and less expensive cameras and much larger fields of view than conventional Davies-Cotton designs, and will also include design and testing of camera electronics for the necessary advances in performance, reliability and cost. We report on the progress of the mid-sized SCT development program.
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