The Cherenkov Telescope Array will look at the sky in higher energy photons than ever measured before. In fact, the cosmic particle accelerators CTA will probe can reach energies inaccessible to man-made accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider.
CTA’s unique capabilities will help us to address some of the most perplexing questions in astrophysics. CTA will seek to understand the impact of high-energy particles in the evolution of cosmic systems and to gain insight into the most extreme and unusual phenomena in the Universe. CTA will search for annihilating dark matter particles and deviations from Einstein’s theory of relativity and even conduct a census of particle acceleration in the Universe.
In 2017 IFAE has continued participating with high impact and visibly in CTA, keeping important responsibilities also at the management level: during 2017 IFAE has had two representatives at the highest management level of the LST Collaboration: J. Cortina has been the Co-PI of the project and M.Martinez has served as the Chair of its Steering Committee. Additionally O.Ballester has been the LST Systems Engineer, O.Blanch the Camera Coordinator, A.Moralejo the Software Coordinator and J.Cortina the Infrastructure Coordinator. All them have been members of the Executive Board of the LST project.
In addition in 2017 A. Moralejo was appointed CTA’s Deputy Coordinator of the Analysis and Simulations working group.
M.Martinez continued as well as the leader of the 12 Spanish groups that presently constitute the CTA-Spain consortium.
####CTA activities at IFAE during 2017
During 2017 IFAE has been coordinating all infrastructure deployment at the ORM. We also produced a preliminary design for the foundations of the next three LSTs at ORM, with an eye especially to their location at the observatory.
IFAE was responsible to design and build the undercarriage of the LST. The undercarriage allows the telescope to rotate in azimuth. It consists of a circular rail and six wheel bogies running on top of it. Similar to the foundation, the undercarriage is also designed to tolerate strong vertical forces both in the downward and upward directions while keeping the needed precision for an accurate pointing. The design finished in 2015 and was partly validated using a test setup at IFAE in 2016.
The bogies were installed in the LST1 rail at ORM by the IFAE team in August 2017 after a whole week of very intense work in which some unexpected tolerance issues had to be solved on the fly. A first commissioning in dynamic conditions was done a few weeks later and confirmed that the bogies were working well.
In parallel in 2017 IFAE completed the design of the Azimuth Locking System, a complex mechanical system able to lock automatically the LST in the parking position and hold it in the worst meteorological condition expected. It will be installed before the end of 2018.