Presentation #205.05 in the session “50 Years of Gamma-Ray Observations at the Whipple Observatory”.
For more than five decades the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) has been the cradle of development for the ground-based imaging atmospheric Cherenkov technique (IACT), which propelled very-high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray astronomy, from early days of exciting yet tentative discoveries, to a well-established branch of astronomical sciences. The prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT), recently inaugurated at FLWO, is a culmination of the IACT with the promise to achieve a nearly theoretical limit of the technique in the installation of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) observatory, currently in early stages of construction. This presentation will review the status of the SCT project at FLWO, its achievements, its scientific benefits to the CTA project, and its place on the roadmap of U.S. contribution to the CTA observatory construction as outlined by the Panel on Particle Astrophysics and Gravitation of recently completed Astro2020 Decadal Survey. The U.S. financial participation, with the contribution of SCTs , in the CTA open observatory will enhance observatory scientific capabilities in the areas of VHE transient and multi-messenger astrophysics as well as open participation of all U.S. scientists in exciting breakthrough discoveries during the next decade and beyond.