Strategy implementation for the CTA Atmospheric monitoring program

EPJ Web of Conferences. 2015;89:02005 DOI 10.1051/epjconf/20158902005


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Journal Title: EPJ Web of Conferences

ISSN: 2100-014X (Online)

Publisher: EDP Sciences

LCC Subject Category: Science: Physics

Country of publisher: France

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Doro Michele (University and INFN Padova)
Daniel Michael (Department of Physics, University of Liverpool)
Reyes Raquel de los (Max-Planck-Institut fuër Kernphysik)
Gaug Markus (Department of Physics, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Campus UAB)
Maccarone Maria Concetta (Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica di Palermo, IASF-Pa/INAF)


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Time From Submission to Publication: 6 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next generation facility of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes. It reaches unprecedented sensitivity and energy resolution in very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy. CTA detects Cherenkov light emitted within an atmospheric shower of particles initiated by cosmic-gamma rays or cosmic rays entering the Earth's atmosphere. From the combination of images the Cherenkov light produces in the telescopes, one is able to infer the primary particle energy and direction. A correct energy estimation can be thus performed only if the local atmosphere is well characterized. The atmosphere not only affects the shower development itself, but also the Cherenkov photon transmission from the emission point in the particle shower, at about 10–20 km above the ground, to the detector. Cherenkov light on the ground is peaked in the UV-blue region, and therefore molecular and aerosol extinction phenomena are important. The goal of CTA is to control systematics in energy reconstruction to better than 10%. For this reason, a careful and continuous monitoring and characterization of the atmosphere is required. In addition, CTA will be operated as an observatory, with data made public along with appropriate analysis tools. High-level data quality can only be ensured if the atmospheric properties are consistently and continuously taken into account. In this contribution, we concentrate on discussing the implementation strategy for the various atmospheric monitoring instruments currently under discussion in CTA. These includes Raman lidars and ceilometers, stellar photometers and others available both from commercial providers and public research centers.