Strategy implementation for the CTA Atmospheric monitoring program
1 University and INFN Padova, via Marzolo 8, 35131 Padova, Italy
2 Department of Physics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZE, UK
3 Max-Planck-Institut fuër Kernphysik, PO Box 103980, 69029 Heidelberg, Germany
4 Department of Physics, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
5 Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica di Palermo, IASF-Pa/INAF, via Ugo La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 26 March 2015
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.
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