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Status of the Prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope Project

Presentation #108.03 in the session “Missions and Instruments (Poster)”.

Published onApr 01, 2022
Status of the Prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope Project

An international consortium of CTA members, led by the U.S., has developed and prototyped a 9.7-m-aperture telescope of the novel Schwarzschild-Couder design, incorporating a secondary mirror to both maintain an excellent optical PSF over an 8-degree field of view (FoV) and to de-magnify the plate scale, allowing the use of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) to achieve a high-resolution camera, with 0.067-degree pixel size. This prototype Schwarzschild-Couder telescope (pSCT), with a partially equipped camera mounting 1600 image pixels, is co-sited with VERITAS at the Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona, USA. The on-axis PSF was first characterized in December 2019, and an observing campaign on the Crab Nebula in January-February, 2020, led to a detection at >8-sigma significance. Upgrades of the camera electronics and expansion of the camera (extending the FoV from 2.5 to 8 degrees) are underway, with completion anticipated in 2023. In this contribution, we summarize the alignment of the optical system, the results of the Crab Nebula campaign, and the status of the in-progress camera upgrade.

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