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A Major Upgrade of the HESS Cherenkov Cameras

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conference contribution
posted on 2019-07-12, 12:14 authored by I Lypova, G Giavitto, T Ashton, A Balzer, D Berge, F Brun, T Chaminade, E Delagnes, G Fontaine, M Fuessling, B Giebels, J-F Glicenstein, T Graeber, J Hinton, A Jahnke, S Klepser, M Kossatz, A Kretzschmann, V Lefranc, H Leich, H Luedecke, P Manigot, V Marandon, E Moulin, M de Naurois, P Nayman, S Ohm, M Penno, D Ross, D Salek, M Schade, T Schwab, R Simoni, C Stegmann, C Steppa, J Thornhill, F Toussnel
The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) is an array of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) located in Namibia. It was built to detect Very High Energy (VHE, >100 GeV) cosmic gamma rays, and consists of four 12 m diameter Cherenkov telescopes (CT1-4), built in 2003, and a larger 28 m telescope (CT5), built in 2012. The larger mirror surface of CT5 permits to lower the energy threshold of the array down to 30 GeV. The cameras of CT1-4 are currently undergoing an extensive upgrade, with the goals of reducing their failure rate, reducing their readout dead time and improving the overall performance of the array. The entire camera electronics has been renewed from ground-up, as well as the power, ventilation and pneumatics systems, and the control and data acquisition software. Technical solutions forseen for the next-generation Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) observatory have been introduced, most notably the readout is based on the NECTAr analog memory chip. The camera control subsystems and the control software framework also pursue an innovative design, increasing the camera performance, robustness and flexibility. The CT1 camera has been upgraded in July 2015 and is currently taking data; CT2-4 will upgraded in Fall 2016. Together they will assure continuous operation of H.E.S.S at its full sensitivity until and possibly beyond the advent of CTA. This contribution describes the design, the testing and the in-lab and on-site performance of all components of the newly upgraded H.E.S.S. camera.


The support of the Namibian authorities and of the University of Namibia in facilitating the construction and operation of H.E.S.S. is gratefully acknowledged, as is the support by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the Max Planck Society, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the French Ministry for Research, the CNRS-IN2P3 and the Astroparticle Interdisciplinary Programme of the CNRS, the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the IPNP of the Charles University, the Czech Science Foundation, the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the South African Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation, and by the University of Namibia. We appreciate the excellent work of the technical support staff in Berlin, Durham, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Palaiseau, Paris, Saclay, and in Namibia in the construction and operation of the equipment.



EPJ Web of Conferences, 2017, 136, 03002 (2017)

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


6th Roma International Conference on Astroparticle Physics (RICAP), Rome, ITALY


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Morselli, A;Capone, A;Fernandez, GR

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