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Performance of a small array of Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescopes sited in Australia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 September 2022

Simon Lee*
Affiliation:
School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
Sabrina Einecke
Affiliation:
School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
Gavin Rowell
Affiliation:
School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
Csaba Balazs
Affiliation:
School of Physics and Astronomy, Monash University, Melbourne VIC 3800, Australia
Jose A. Bellido
Affiliation:
School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
Shi Dai
Affiliation:
School of Science, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia
Dominik Elsässer
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, TU Dortmund University, 44221 Dortmund, Germany
Miroslav Filipović
Affiliation:
School of Science, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia
Violet M. Harvey
Affiliation:
School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
Padric McGee
Affiliation:
School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
Wolfgang Rhode
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, TU Dortmund University, 44221 Dortmund, Germany
Steven Tingay
Affiliation:
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA, 6845, Australia
Martin White
Affiliation:
School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
*
Corresponding author: Simon Lee, email: simon.lee@adelaide.edu.au

Abstract

As TeV gamma-ray astronomy progresses into the era of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), there is a desire for the capacity to instantaneously follow up on transient phenomena and continuously monitor gamma-ray flux at energies above $10^{12}\,\mathrm{eV}$ . To this end, a worldwide network of Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) is required to provide triggers for CTA observations and complementary continuous monitoring. An IACT array sited in Australia would contribute significant coverage of the Southern Hemisphere sky. Here, we investigate the suitability of a small IACT array and how different design factors influence its performance. Monte Carlo simulations were produced based on the Small-Sized Telescope (SST) and Medium-Sized Telescope (MST) designs from CTA. Angular resolution improved with larger baseline distances up to 277 m between telescopes, and energy thresholds were lower at 1 000 m altitude than at 0 m. The ${\sim} 300\,\mathrm{GeV}$ energy threshold of MSTs proved more suitable for observing transients than the ${\sim}1.2\,\mathrm{TeV}$ threshold of SSTs. An array of four MSTs at 1 000 m was estimated to give a 5.7 $\sigma$ detection of an RS Ophiuchi-like nova eruption from a 4-h observation. We conclude that an array of four MST-class IACTs at an Australian site would ideally complement the capabilities of CTA.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Astronomical Society of Australia

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