Presentation #103.57 in the session Missions and Instruments.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) will be a next-generation facility for observations of very high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray sources sensitive to energies 20 GeV - 300 TeV. Funding has now been secured and construction is beginning for the “Alpha Configuration,” consisting of observatories in the Atacama Desert (Chile) in the southern hemisphere and at La Palma (Spain) in the north. The Alpha Configuration will achieve sensitivity as much as an order of magnitude better than existing instruments. The Astro2020 Decadal Survey has recommended U.S. participation in CTAO as part of the Multi-Messenger Program for the 2020s, and in particular recommended support for the southern array inclusion of Schwarzschild-Couder Telescopes (SCTs), which use a novel design incorporating a secondary mirror to achieve superior performance over the core 100 GeV - 10 TeV energy region of CTAO. An international consortium of CTA members, led by the U.S., has developed and prototyped the 9.7-m-aperture SCT. This presentation will show the results of performance studies using simulations of the CTAO with the addition of SCTs, compared to the Alpha Configuration without them, and highlight the enhanced science reach of CTAO that results.