Design and performance of the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope camera

the CTA SCT Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next-generation ground-based observatory for very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy. An innovative 9.7 m aperture, dual-mirror Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (SCT) design is a candidate design for CTA Medium-Sized Telescopes. A prototype SCT (pSCT) has been constructed at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Arizona, USA. Its camera is currently partially instrumented with 1600 pixels covering a field of view of 2.7 degrees square. The small plate scale of the optical system allows densely packed silicon photomultipliers to be used, which combined with high-density trigger and waveform readout electronics enable the high-resolution camera. The camera's electronics are capable of imaging air shower development at a rate of one billion samples per second. We describe the commissioning and performance of the pSCT camera, including trigger and waveform readout performance, calibration, and absolute GPS time stamping. We also present the upgrade to the camera, which is currently underway. The upgrade will fully populate the focal plane, increasing the field of view to 8 degree diameter, and lower the front-end electronics noise, enabling a lower trigger threshold and improved reconstruction and background rejection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number748
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - Mar 18 2022
Event37th International Cosmic Ray Conference, ICRC 2021 - Virtual, Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 12 2021Jul 23 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Design and performance of the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope camera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this