Leicester scientists develop new imaging system for worlds largest gamma ray observatory

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Richard White (MPIK), Duncan Ross (UoL), Jon Lapington (UoL) Image credit Richard White, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg (MPIK)
Scientists from the University's Space Research Centre have returned from the inauguration of the Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope (GCT) prototype in Paris where 100 project collaborators from around the world had converged. The GCT is proposed to detect very high-energy gamma rays using a camera that has to be about a million times faster than a DSLR camera.

The team has for the past two years been developing the first imaging system (camera) for a Small Scale Telescope (SST) structure of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). Leicester took a leading role in the development of this prototype camera funded by STFC, who continue to support the project.

The camera, the red coloured "cube", is mounted on the GATE telescope structure developed by the Observatoire de Paris in Meudon (South-west of Paris) as part of the collaborative project known as GCT (Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope).

The Leicester team has been responsible for the mechanical, thermal, fluidic, environmental, optical and various electronic elements of the camera, with valuable contributions from the Physics departments of Oxford, Liverpool and Durham Universities, as well as several other consortium members from around the world.