The Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) is a 300M-Euro project for ground-based gamma-ray astronomy now entering its pre-construction phase. Australia’s role in this project includes the design of observing procedures and analysis and of key science projects in large-scale surveys.

Cherenkov Telescope Array's Large-Sized Telescope prototype (LST-1). Credit: Tomohiro Inada.
LST-1 Prepares to Unpark Credit: Manuela Mallamaci

The CTA aims to investigate cosmic rays, black holes and the nature of matter, and the project has to date attracted over 1,000 scientists in over 31 countries. The CTA-Australia consortium comprises seven institutions, led by the University of Adelaide (University of Adelaide – ANU – Western Sydney University – UNSW – University of Sydney – Monash University – Curtin University). It is ranked at the same level as the SKA in European funding road maps and has significant support in the USA and Japan. 

AAL, through NCRIS funds, have supported Australia’s continued contribution to the project, including CTAO membership, attendance at CTA meetings, CTA-multi-wavelength workshop and travel assistance for the commissioning of CTA pre-production telescopes in Chile (or Europe).

NCRIS funds complement the ARC LIEF funding for CTA which is used for constructing and commissioning the CTA telescopes, site infrastructure and the software used to process the data.