The CTA observatory is about to get a facelift

The teams from the Engineering and A2C poles of IJCLab have been embarking on the adventure of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) since 2016.

CTA is on the way to becoming the most sensitive observatory to gamma rays at TeV. The gamma telescopes of CTA's northern and southern arrays, respectively in the Canary Islands and Chile, will reveal with unrivaled precision the particle accelerators that populate the Galaxy and the cosmos, identify candidate particles for dark matter (WIMPs and WISPs) and the fundamental symmetries of physics, and will even make it possible to measure the electromagnetic content of large voids.

The design of the telescopes, cameras and auxiliary systems is complete and the construction phase begins. Funded in France by the Very Large Research Infrastructures, our teams notably passed the critical review of the design and manufacture of the NectarCAM camera, a review officially closed on April 21, 2023. The CTA team of IJCLab, responsible for calibration systems of NectarCAM, its maintenance and assembly tools, is finalizing the manufacture of the last elements of NectarCAM n°1, which will be sent to the Canary Islands in the summer of 2024.

At the north site, CTA's first large telescope awaits its medium-sized counterparts and the NectarCAMs that will equip them. The first scientific publication using the large telescope n°1, published on March 6, poses unprecedented constraints at TeV on one of the PeVatron candidates observed by the Chinese observatory LHAASO. The next generation of PhD students will see the current experiments overtaken by CTA-Nord, where the IJCLab team is already initiating pioneering extragalactic observation programs. On the south site, the preparation of the infrastructures is well advanced. The start of construction will follow the ratification of CTA's legal status as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) and the entry into office of its new CEO in the summer of 2023.

2023-05-25 17:27