Cherenkov Telescope Array - CTA
Looking for Dark Matter using High Energy Gamma Rays
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next generation ground based very high energy gamma-ray instrument (E > 10 GeV). CTA is designed to research the origin of cosmic rays and their impact on the constituents of the Universe, the investigation of the nature and variety of black hole particle accelerators, and the inquiry into the ultimate nature of matter and physics beyond the Standard Model, searching for Dark Matter and effects of quantum gravity. The design foresees a factor of 5-10 improvement in sensitivity in the current very high-energy gamma ray domain of about 100 GeV to some 10 TeV, and an extension of the accessible energy range down to almost 10 GeV as well as well above 100 TeV.
CTA is designed to be an open observatory for the astrophysics community. It will consists of two sites, one on the northern and one on the southern hemisphere. In both sites an array of many tens of telescopes will allow the detection of gamma-ray induced cascades over a large area on the ground, increasing the number of detected gamma rays dramatically, while at the same time providing a much larger number of views of each cascade. This results in both improved angular resolution and better suppression of cosmic-ray background events.
The Norwegian contribution to the CTA is currently focussing on the study of Dark Matter and camera calibration efforts. If you would like to join the Norwegian CTA effort we have interesting projects for Master students and PhD students, just contact us and you will learn more.
CTA is included in the 2008 roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). It is one of the “Magnificent Seven” of the European strategy for astroparticle physics published by ASPERA, and highly ranked in the “strategic plan for European astronomy”.