Capital funding for CTA-UK programme

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The Universe is full of particles with such high energies that they are travelling at very close to the speed of light. These
particles play a significant role in many areas of astrophysics, from the life-cycles of stars to the evolution of galaxies.
The paths of these particles are hard to trace, but they can reveal their presence by producing gamma rays. Like their lower-energy cousins, X-rays, gamma rays do not penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and usually satellite-based telescopes are used to detect
them. However, at very high energies (VHE), gamma rays are extremely rare, and detecting them using spacecraft becomes
impossible - the chance they would hit a reasonably sized satellite is just too small. Luckily, it is possible to observe them from the ground via the flashes of blue light, Cherenkov radiation, they produce when they interact in the atmosphere. The glow of this Cherenkov radiation is 10,000 times fainter than starlight, so telescopes are needed to observe it, and because the flashes last only a few billionths of a second, ultra-fast cameras are needed to record them.

We know from current ground-based gamma-ray telescopes such as HESS that there is a wealth of phenomena to be
studied using gamma rays. VHE gamma ray telescopes have detected the remains of supernova explosions, binary star systems, highly energetic jets of particles produced by black holes in distant galaxies, star formation regions, and many other objects. These
observations can help us to understand not only what is going on inside these objects, but also answer fundamental physics relating to the nature of dark matter and of space-time itself. However, we have now reached the limit of what can be done with current instruments, and so about 1000 scientists from 29 countries around the world have come together to build a new instrument - the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA).

CTA will offer a dramatic increase in sensitivity over current instruments, and extend the range of the gamma rays observed to both lower and higher energies. It is predicted that the catalogue of known VHE emitting objects will expand from the 130 known to over 1000, and we can expect many new discoveries in key areas of astrophysics and fundamental physics research. To achieve the wide energy range we require of CTA, it is necessary to build telescopes of three different sizes: 4 m diameter small-sized telescopes (SSTs), 12 m medium-sized telescopes (MSTs) and 23 m large-sized telescopes (LSTs). CTA will consist of two arrays of telescopes, one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere. The northern array will consist of 4 LSTs and 20 MSTs. The southern array will contain similar numbers of large and medium sized telescopes, but add to them an extensive array of 70 SSTs, specifically to investigate the highest energy phenomena which can be observed preferentially from the southern hemisphere. The SSTs will detect the highest energy photons ever seen, with energies approaching a peta-electronvolt, each a thousand billion times more energetic than an X-ray. Production of prototype CTA telescopes in now underway, with full-scale construction of the arrays expected to start in 2016.

There are currently 11 UK universities involved in CTA. The UK groups are concentrating their efforts on the construction of
the SSTs. We have already produced an innovative dual-mirror SST design, which is now being built in sight of the Eiffel Tower in
Paris. In this proposal we request funds to further develop the camera we have designed for this telescope and to support development by UK industry of the mirrors needed for it.

Planned Impact

In addition to the applications under investigation from the ongoing CTA-UK programme (high speed amplifier applications, rapidly pulsed LEDs, outreach developments including a UK website and the production of leaflets describing CTA and planetarium resources) the funding requested here will hopefully in result in development of a UK capability to produce mirrors for CTA as well as further camera development. This will provide opportunities for UK industry to be involved in CTA construction. Elements of the camera (for example the enclosure and the required printed circuit boards) will be contracted out to industry. Mirrors must be produced not only for the GCTs but also for the large and medium sized telescopes.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Equipment was purchased that enabled the construction of fast pre-amplifiers and shapers for the Compact High-energy Camera (CHEC) of the Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope (GCT).
Equipment was purchased which enabled the proof-of-principle of a new technique for the construction of aspherical glass mirrors for the GCT.
Exploitation Route Continuing development for CTA telescopes.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Security and Diplomacy

 
Description Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) 
Organisation Durham University
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Proposal of Dual Mirror design for Small Size Telescopes (SSTs) for CTA. First mechanical and optical designs of Dual Mirror SSTs. Leadership of SST project within CTA. Contributions to physics studies for CTA. Leadership for five years and then continuing contributions to overall array simulation and design. Leadership of outreach for CTA. Collaboration Board and Project Committee membership.
Collaborator Contribution Remainder of project with nearly 1500 physicists from 224 institutes in 33 coutries (as of March 2016), including: Design of Large, Medium and other Small Size Telescopes (LSTs, MSTs and SSTs, respectively). Studies of physics that CTA will carry out. Data processing for CTA. Site search and negotions, design of array infrastructure. Develoment of legal framework for CTA Observatory.
Impact Design of telescope sstructure, camera, and mirrors. Astrophsyics outreach in the UK and internationally. PhD students.
 
Description Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) 
Organisation Observatory of Paris
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Proposal of Dual Mirror design for Small Size Telescopes (SSTs) for CTA. First mechanical and optical designs of Dual Mirror SSTs. Leadership of SST project within CTA. Contributions to physics studies for CTA. Leadership for five years and then continuing contributions to overall array simulation and design. Leadership of outreach for CTA. Collaboration Board and Project Committee membership.
Collaborator Contribution Remainder of project with nearly 1500 physicists from 224 institutes in 33 coutries (as of March 2016), including: Design of Large, Medium and other Small Size Telescopes (LSTs, MSTs and SSTs, respectively). Studies of physics that CTA will carry out. Data processing for CTA. Site search and negotions, design of array infrastructure. Develoment of legal framework for CTA Observatory.
Impact Design of telescope sstructure, camera, and mirrors. Astrophsyics outreach in the UK and internationally. PhD students.
 
Description Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) 
Organisation University of Leicester
Department Department of Physics & Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Proposal of Dual Mirror design for Small Size Telescopes (SSTs) for CTA. First mechanical and optical designs of Dual Mirror SSTs. Leadership of SST project within CTA. Contributions to physics studies for CTA. Leadership for five years and then continuing contributions to overall array simulation and design. Leadership of outreach for CTA. Collaboration Board and Project Committee membership.
Collaborator Contribution Remainder of project with nearly 1500 physicists from 224 institutes in 33 coutries (as of March 2016), including: Design of Large, Medium and other Small Size Telescopes (LSTs, MSTs and SSTs, respectively). Studies of physics that CTA will carry out. Data processing for CTA. Site search and negotions, design of array infrastructure. Develoment of legal framework for CTA Observatory.
Impact Design of telescope sstructure, camera, and mirrors. Astrophsyics outreach in the UK and internationally. PhD students.
 
Description Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Proposal of Dual Mirror design for Small Size Telescopes (SSTs) for CTA. First mechanical and optical designs of Dual Mirror SSTs. Leadership of SST project within CTA. Contributions to physics studies for CTA. Leadership for five years and then continuing contributions to overall array simulation and design. Leadership of outreach for CTA. Collaboration Board and Project Committee membership.
Collaborator Contribution Remainder of project with nearly 1500 physicists from 224 institutes in 33 coutries (as of March 2016), including: Design of Large, Medium and other Small Size Telescopes (LSTs, MSTs and SSTs, respectively). Studies of physics that CTA will carry out. Data processing for CTA. Site search and negotions, design of array infrastructure. Develoment of legal framework for CTA Observatory.
Impact Design of telescope sstructure, camera, and mirrors. Astrophsyics outreach in the UK and internationally. PhD students.
 
Description Compact High Energy Camera 
Organisation Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Lead design and construction of camera for GCT telescope.
Collaborator Contribution Electronics testing. Software development.
Impact Design of camera. Prototype camera.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Compact High Energy Camera 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Lead design and construction of camera for GCT telescope.
Collaborator Contribution Electronics testing. Software development.
Impact Design of camera. Prototype camera.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Compact High Energy Camera 
Organisation Nagoya University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Lead design and construction of camera for GCT telescope.
Collaborator Contribution Electronics testing. Software development.
Impact Design of camera. Prototype camera.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Compact High Energy Camera 
Organisation University of Adelaide
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Lead design and construction of camera for GCT telescope.
Collaborator Contribution Electronics testing. Software development.
Impact Design of camera. Prototype camera.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Compact High Energy Camera 
Organisation University of Amsterdam
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Lead design and construction of camera for GCT telescope.
Collaborator Contribution Electronics testing. Software development.
Impact Design of camera. Prototype camera.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation Aix-Marseille University
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation Durham University
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation Nagoya University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS)
Department IN2P3 CNRS
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation Observatory of Paris
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation University of Adelaide
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation University of Amsterdam
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation University of Leicester
Department Department of Physics & Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of the first mechanical structure of the GCT. Optical design of the GCT. Design and construction of multi-anode based compact high energy camera (CHEC) for the GCT, CHEC-M. Lab testing of CHEC-M. Installation of CHAC-M on the prototype telescope. Detection of air showers with the GCT and its camera. Testing of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for the SiPM based GCT camera, CHEC-S. Design and test of the CHEC-S frant-end electronics. Contributions to simulation of the GCT and studies of physics using the GCT.
Collaborator Contribution Design of the prototype telescope structure. Construction of telescope on the Meudon site of the Paris Observatory. Construction of the GCT mirrors. Monte Carlo simulations for the GCT. Back end electronics for CHEC.
Impact Prototype telescope and camera for CTA. Publications. Outreach in Ile de France area.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Mirrors for CTA 
Organisation Glyndwr University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Specification of mirrors
Collaborator Contribution Mirror construction process, test mirrors.
Impact Test mirrors for study of production process
Start Year 2015