Building Particle Astrophysics Capability: Partial support for a new-technology prototype camera for CTA

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a global (27 nations, 1000 scientists) effort to build an observatory for astronomy with the highest energy gamma-rays, which are a billion times more energetic than X-rays. The UK is playing a major role in the CTA design and is being supported to develop a prototype camera for CTA based on multi-anode photomultipliers. Here we ask for partial support for the construction of a second prototype, based on the rapidly developing technology of silicon photomultipliers. This second prototype will allow us to maintain our UK leadership in this part of the project and holds the promise of a higher performance and cheaper camera for CTA in the long term.

Planned Impact

Silicon PMTs and associated fast electronics are a rapidly expanding area with applications across medical physics, particle physics and astronomy. Via the construction of our prototype camera we will strengthen our links with industry and provide UK industry with improved possibilities for involvement in the construction phase of the £150M CTA project.


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Description CTA 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) project is a global ~£200M project to construct a next generation ground-based gamma-ray observatory. Over 1000 scientists in 27 countries are involved.
Collaborator Contribution Contributions to all aspects of the project so far including design, optimisation, prototyping. Leadership roles in the project including Project Scientist.
Impact An optimised design for the instrument. A place in all major roadmaps for Astronomy and Astroparticle Physics A special issue of the journal Astroparticle Physics.
Start Year 2006