Monte carlo design studies for the cherenkov telescope array

K. Bernlohr, A. Barnacka, Y. Becherini, O. Blanch Bigas, E. Carmona, P. Colin, G. Decerprit, F. Di Pierro, F. Dubois, C. Farnier, S. Funk, G. Hermann, J. A. Hinton, T. B. Humensky, B. Khelifi, T. Kihm, N. Komin, J. P. Lenain, G. Maier, D. MazinM. C. Medina, A. Moralejo, S. J. Nolan, S. Ohm, E. De Ona Wilhelmi, R. D. Parsons, M. Paz Arribas, G. Pedaletti, S. Pita, H. Prokoph, C. B. Rulten, U. Schwanke, M. Shayduk, V. Stamatescu, P. Vallania, S. Vorobiov, R. Wischnewski, T. Yoshikoshi, A. Zech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Scopus citations


The Cherenkov Telescopes Array (CTA) is planned as the future instrument for very-high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray astronomy with a wide energy range of four orders of magnitude and an improvement in sensitivity compared to current instruments of about an order of magnitude. Monte Carlo simulations are a crucial tool in the design of CTA. The ultimate goal of these simulations is tofind the most cost-effective solution for given physics goals and thus sensitivity goals or to find, for a given cost, the solution best suited for different types of targets with CTA. Apart from uncertain component cost estimates, the main problem in this procedure is the dependence on a huge number of configuration parameters, both in specifications of individual telescope types and in the array layout. This is addressed by simulation of a huge array intended as a superset of many different realistic array layouts, and also by simulation of array subsets for different telescope parameters. Different analysis methods-inuse with current installations andextended (or developed specifically) for CTA -are applied to the simulated data sets for deriving the expected sensitivity of CTA. In this paper we describe the current status of this iterative approach to optimize the CTA design and layout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-188
Number of pages18
JournalAstroparticle Physics
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge support from the following agencies and organizations: Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (MinCyT), Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA) and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) Argentina; State Committee of Science of Armenia; Ministry for Research, CNRS-INSU and CNRS-IN2P3, Irfu-CEA, ANR, France; Max Planck Society, BMBF, DESY, Helmholtz Association, Germany; MIUR, Italy; Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO); Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the National Centre for Research and Development, Poland; MICINN support through the National R+D+I, CDTI funding plans and the CPAN and MultiDark Consolider-Ingenio 2010 program, Spain; Swedish Research Council, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences financed, Sweden; Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Switzerland; Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society, Science and Technologies Facilities Council, Durham University, UK; National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, University of California, University of Chicago, Iowa State University, Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics (INPAC-MRPI program), Washington University McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, USA. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme ([FP7/2007-2013] [FP7/2007-2011]) under grant agreement no. 262053 . S.O. acknowledges the support of the Humboldt Foundation by a Feodor-Lynen research fellowship.


  • Cherenkov telescopes
  • Cosmic rays
  • Gamma rays
  • IACT technique
  • Monte Carlo simulations


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