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Detection of gamma-ray sources and search for dark matter signals with Cherenkov Telescope Array surveys : dissertation
Veronika Vodeb, 2024, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Gamma rays serve as important messengers in modern astrophysics, offering insights into the most energetic processes in the cosmos. Advancements in gamma-ray astronomy, facilitated by international scientific collaboration, have expanded its reach and capabilities. The Fermi-Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT) has so far contributed immensely to our understanding of the gamma-ray sky at GeV energies, surveying numerous source classes. At the same time, ground-based observatories like H.E.S.S., MAGIC, VERITAS, HAWC, and LHASSO, enable the exploration of high-energy (HE) phenomena across various energy scales, reaching the PeV range. The collective data from Fermi-LAT and ground-based instruments provide a comprehensive picture of cosmic phenomena across diverse energy regimes. Efforts to catalog HE gamma-ray sources have resulted in the detection of several thousand sources at GeV, including Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNe), Supernova Remnants (SNRs), pulsars, blazars, and Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs), with the observational capability to study their spectral and spatial morphology enhancing our understanding of their origin and evolution. Looking ahead, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) represents the next frontier in ground-based gamma-ray astronomy. Operating at very high energies (VHE) between 20 GeV and 300 TeV, CTA's improved sensitivity, angular resolution, and expanded field of view (FoV) promise enhanced imaging of extended sources and performance of large-scale surveys. CTA's Key Science Projects (KSPs) include the Extragalactic (EGAL) survey, a survey of a quarter of the extragalactic sky, and the Galactic Plane Survey (GPS), a survey of the entire Galactic Plane (GP). The KSPs will receive dedicated observation time and careful planning to ensure the optimization of their scientific output. As CTA is currently entering the construction phase, simulations are being extensively employed to predict its response to various signals, playing a vital role in comprehending CTA's response and sensitivity to different signals. The derived predictions are paving the way for estimating the CTA's scientific output, informing the observational strategy, and ensuring its success in maximizing the contribution to HE gamma-ray astronomy. In this thesis, I contribute to assessing the sensitivity of the CTA surveys, particularly the GPS and the EGAL survey, to diverse astrophysical sources and signals. Focusing on the GPS, I delve into understanding the detectability of pulsar halos, which emit multi-TeV gamma rays, the detection of which was recently reported by the HAWC Observatory. The study involves a spatial-spectral likelihood analysis, evaluating sensitivity to simple Gaussian extended sources and physically modeled sources. Employing a template-fitting approach, I analyze CTA's GPS sensitivity to extended sources and explore the prospects for pulsar halo detection and characterization. A preliminary population study addresses the visibility of pulsar halos to CTA's GPS and explores the angular sensitivity to extended sources. The thesis sets the detectability prospects of pulsar halos with CTA and investigates what fraction of the preliminary pulsar halo population CTA will be able to probe. The thesis extends its exploration into the persistent mystery of dark matter (DM), a fundamental puzzle in cosmology. The search for DM signals remains a vigorous pursuit in the physics community, utilizing various astrophysical messengers resulting from DM particle annihilation or decay. I investigate the potential of CTA's GPS to detect dark sub-halos within our galaxy, utilizing a similar approach as in the sensitivity assessment to pulsar halos, applied to recent sub-halo population simulations. Furthermore, the thesis addresses the intricate task of disentangling DM components from astrophysical contributions in the observed gamma-ray sky. In terms of the EGAL survey, employing advanced statistical methods such as the cross-correlation technique, I explore the prospects of using CTA's EGAL survey to correlate the Extragalactic Gamma-ray Background (EGRB) with galaxy catalogs, providing insights into DM properties. While traditional methods rely on likelihood analysis with background subtraction or template fitting, the emergence of supervised machine learning (ML) offers a novel, potentially more effective approach for cataloging the sky. The thesis touches upon the usability of ML in the high and VHE gamma-ray sky. My study focuses on CTA's GPS and utilizes deep-learning-based algorithms in a detection pipeline for the automatic classification of extended sources from gamma-ray data. As CTA stands at the forefront of gamma-ray astronomy as the next-generation observatory, the research presented in this thesis contributes a small step towards answering the open questions about pulsar halos and DM, showcasing the potential breakthroughs that may emerge from CTA's observations. The detailed likelihood analysis performed aims to advance our understanding of these enigmas, from the physical intricacies of pulsar halos to the elusive nature of DM, driven by curiosity about the continuous exploration of the Universe's mysteries.
Ključne besede: high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, astroparticle physics, Cherenkov Telescope Array, pulsar halos, dark matter, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 06.06.2024; Ogledov: 341; Prenosov: 5
.pdf Celotno besedilo (36,25 MB)

Auger@TA : an Auger-like surface detector micro-array embedded within the Telescope Array Project
S. Mayotte, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, objavljeni znanstveni prispevek na konferenci

Opis: The Pierre Auger Observatory (Auger) and the Telescope Array Project (TA) are the two largest ultra-highenergy cosmic ray (UHECR) observatories in the world. One obstacle in pursuing full-sky UHECR physics is the apparent discrepancy in flux measured by the two experiments. This could be due to astrophysical differences as Auger and TA observe the Southern and Northern skies, respectively. However, the scintillation detectors used by TA have very different sensitivity to the various components of extensive air showers than the water-Cherenkov detectors (WCD) used by Auger. The discrepancy could also be due to systematic effects arising from the differing detector designs and reconstruction methods. The primary goal of the Auger@TA working group is to cross-calibrate the approaches of the two observatories using in-situ methods. This is achieved by placing a self-triggering micro-array, which consists of eight Auger surface detector stations, with both WCDs and AugerPrime scintillators, within the TA array. Seven of the WCDs use a 1-PMT prototype configuration and form a hexagon with the Auger spacing of 1.5 km. The eighth station uses a standard 3-PMT Auger WCD, placed with a TA station at the center of the hexagon to form a triplet for high-statistics, low-uncertainty, cross-calibration of instrumentation. Deployment of the micro-array took place between September 2022 and August 2023, with data-taking foreseen by the Fall of 2023. Details on the instrumentation and deployment of the micro-array, as well as its expected performance, trigger efficiencies, and event rate will be presented. First data from individual stations will also be shown.
Ključne besede: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, Telescope Array, AugerPrime, scintillators, water-Cherenkov detectors
Objavljeno v RUNG: 23.01.2024; Ogledov: 630; Prenosov: 6
.pdf Celotno besedilo (2,50 MB)
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The Cherenkov Telescope Array
Daniel Mazin, Christopher Eckner, Gašper Kukec Mezek, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Lili Yang, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2019, objavljeni znanstveni prispevek na konferenci

Opis: The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next generation ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy at very-high energies. It will be capable of detecting gamma rays in the energy range from 20 GeV to more than 300 TeV with unprecedented precision in energy and directional reconstruction. With more than 100 telescopes of three different types it will be located in the northern hemisphere at La Palma, Spain, and in the southern at Paranal, Chile. CTA will be one of the largest astronomical infrastructures in the world with open data access and it will address questions in astronomy, astrophysics and fundamental physics in the next decades. In this presentation we will focus on the status of the CTA construction, the status of the telescope prototypes and highlight some of the physics perspectives.
Ključne besede: very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA sensitivity, gamma-ray bursts, POpulation Synthesis Theory Integrated project for very high-energy emission
Objavljeno v RUNG: 04.12.2023; Ogledov: 954; Prenosov: 3
.pdf Celotno besedilo (27,92 MB)
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POSyTIVE : a GRB population study for the Cherenkov Telescope Array
Maria Grazia Bernardini, Christopher Eckner, Gašper Kukec Mezek, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Lili Yang, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2019, objavljeni znanstveni prispevek na konferenci

Opis: One of the central scientific goals of the next-generation Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the detection and characterization of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). CTA will be sensitive to gamma rays with energies from about 20 GeV, up to a few hundred TeV. The energy range below 1 TeV is particularly important for GRBs. CTA will allow exploration of this regime with a ground-based gamma-ray facility with unprecedented sensitivity. As such, it will be able to probe radiation and particle acceleration mechanisms at work in GRBs. In this contribution, we describe POSyTIVE, the POpulation Synthesis Theory Integrated project for very high-energy emission. The purpose of the project is to make realistic predictions for the detection rates of GRBs with CTA, to enable studies of individual simulated GRBs, and to perform preparatory studies for time-resolved spectral analyses. The mock GRB population used by POSyTIVE is calibrated using the entire 40-year dataset of multi-wavelength GRB observations. As part of this project we explore theoretical models for prompt and afterglow emission of long and short GRBs, and predict the expected radiative output. Subsequent analyses are performed in order to simulate the observations with CTA, using the publicly available ctools and Gammapy frameworks. We present preliminary results of the design and implementation of this project.
Ključne besede: very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA sensitivity, gamma-ray bursts, population Synthesis Theory, very high-energy emission
Objavljeno v RUNG: 04.12.2023; Ogledov: 1268; Prenosov: 1
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Cherenkov Telescope Array Science : a multi-wavelength and multi-messenger perspective
Ulisses Barres de Almeida, Christopher Eckner, Gašper Kukec Mezek, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Lili Yang, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2019, objavljeni znanstveni prispevek na konferenci

Opis: The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the major global observatory for VHE gamma-ray astronomy over the next decade and beyond. It will be an explorer of the extreme universe, with a broad scientific potential: from understanding the role of relativistic cosmic particles, to the search for dark matter. Covering photon energies from 20 GeV to 300 TeV, and with an angular resolution unique in the field, of about 1 arc min, CTA will improve on all aspects of the performance with respect to current instruments, surveying the high energy sky hundreds of times faster than previous TeV telescopes, and with a much deeper view. The very large collection area of CTA makes it an important probe of transient phenomena. The first CTA telescope has just been inaugurated in the Canary Islands, Spain, and as more telescopes are added in the coming years, scientific operation will start. It is evident that CTA will have important synergies with many of the new generation astronomical and astroparticle observatories. In this talk we will review the CTA science case from the point of view of its synergies with other instruments and facilities, highlighting the CTA needs in terms of external data, as well as the opportunities and strategies for cooperation to achieve the basic CTA science goals.
Ključne besede: very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA performances, transient VHE sources, CTA science
Objavljeno v RUNG: 04.12.2023; Ogledov: 1383; Prenosov: 4
.pdf Celotno besedilo (1,16 MB)
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Characterization of atmospheric properties over the Cherenkov Telescope Array at La Palma
Miha Živec, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope (IACT) systems are used in high-energy astrophysics to detect and study gamma-ray sources in the universe. These telescopes measure properties of cosmic gamma rays using Cherenkov radiation emitted by secondary particles produced after interacting with the Earth’s atmosphere. Atmospheric monitoring is crucial for the proper operation of IACT systems. A number of remote sensing and in situ methods are used to understand and correct the effects of the atmosphere on the propagation of Cherenkov radiation from its origin to the telescope. Failure to do so greatly decreases IACT performance, particularly, their energy resolution and threshold. Lidar systems can be used to measure atmospheric optical depth profiles, which are essential for IACT calibration. The main aim of this thesis is to demonstrate that a prototype lidar for the north-ern site of the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO), which is a next-generation IACT now under construction, has hardware and software capabilities that would lead to the construction of CTAO Raman lidar. Due to specific require-ments of the CTAO, a Raman lidar, which can provide better atmospheric parameter accuracy, will be used for the first time in an IACT system. In 2021-2022 the BRL was deployed to the future CTAO-North site at the Roque de los Muchachos observatory, La Palma, for testing in its actual operating conditions. During a year and a half long test period, it underwent a number of tests, including manual and remote operation under various environmental conditions. These included hot summers, cold winters, rain, snow, ice, and strong winds, but also some more exotic events, such as desert sand intrusions (Calima) and volcanic eruptions. The latter two are presented in this work as test cases for atmospheric characterization. Since the main goal of a CTAO lidar is the optical depth measurements, the BRL does not have the full set of features for aerosol characterization. While it can yield the ˚Angstr¨om exponent and lidar ratio, it does not provide depolarization informa-tion, which is one of the key components for aerosol typing. As the atmosphere at La Palma was found to be more complex than initially anticipated, we present the benefits of including depolarization capability by using a conceptually similar Raman lidar system specifically designed for aerosol characterization. We present the results of a campaign focused on the determination of bioaerosol capabilities to act as cloud condensation nuclei and ice-nucleating particles in mixed-phase clouds, where depo-larization information was used to determine the thermodynamic phase of the cloud.
Ključne besede: Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory, Raman Lidar, atmospheric optical depth, aerosol characterization, Cumbre Vieja, Calima
Objavljeno v RUNG: 23.10.2023; Ogledov: 1115; Prenosov: 39
.pdf Celotno besedilo (26,88 MB)

The Cherenkov Telescope Array. Science Goals and Current Status
Rene A. Ong, Christopher Eckner, Gašper Kukec Mezek, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Lili Yang, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2019, objavljeni znanstveni prispevek na konferenci (vabljeno predavanje)

Opis: The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the major ground-based gamma-ray observatory planned for the next decade and beyond. Consisting of two large atmospheric Cherenkov telescope arrays (one in the southern hemisphere and one in the northern hemisphere), CTA will have superior angular resolution, a much wider energy range, and approximately an order of magnitude improvement in sensitivity, as compared to existing instruments. The CTA science programme will be rich and diverse, covering cosmic particle acceleration, the astrophysics of extreme environments, and physics frontiers beyond the Standard Model. This paper outlines the science goals for CTA and covers the current status of the project.
Ključne besede: very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), cosmic particle acceleration, astrophysics of extreme environments, physics beyond the Standard Model
Objavljeno v RUNG: 11.10.2023; Ogledov: 878; Prenosov: 7
.pdf Celotno besedilo (3,28 MB)
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Highlights from the Telescope Array experiment
Grigory I. Rubtsov, R. U. Abbasi, T. Abu-Zayyad, M. Allen, Yasuhiko Arai, R. Arimura, E. Barcikowski, J. W. Belz, Douglas R. Bergman, Jon Paul Lundquist, 2022, objavljeni znanstveni prispevek na konferenci (vabljeno predavanje)

Opis: The Telescope Array (TA) is the largest cosmic ray observatory in the Northern Hemisphere. It is designed to measure the properties of cosmic rays over a wide range of energies. TA with it's low energy extension (TALE) observe cosmic-ray induced extensive air showers between 2 PeV and 100 EeV in hybrid mode using multiple instruments, including an array of scintillator detectors at the Earth's surface and telescopes to measure the fluorescence and Cerenkov light. The statistics at the highest energies is being enhanced with the ongoing construction of the TAx4 experiment which will quadruple the surface area of the detector. We review the present status of the experiments and most recent physics results on the cosmic ray anisotropy, chemical composition and energy spectrum. Notable highlights include a new feature in the energy spectrum at about 10^19.2 eV, and a new clustering of events in the direction of Perseus-Pisces supercluster above this energy. We also report on updated diffuse photon flux limits and new spectrum and composition results in the lower energy range from the TALE extension.
Ključne besede: Telescope Array, TALE, low energy extension, TAx4, indirect detection, hybrid detection, ground array, fluorescence detection, Cherenkov light, ultra-high energy, cosmic rays, energy spectrum, composition, anisotropy
Objavljeno v RUNG: 26.09.2023; Ogledov: 1002; Prenosov: 5
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Performance study update of observations in divergent mode for the Cherenkov Telescope Array
A. Donini, Saptashwa Bhattacharyya, Judit Pérez Romero, Samo Stanič, Veronika Vodeb, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Miha Živec, 2023, objavljeni znanstveni prispevek na konferenci

Opis: Due to the limited field of view (FoV) of Cherenkov telescopes, the time needed to achieve target sensitivity for surveys of the extragalactic and Galactic sky is large. To optimize the time spent to perform such surveys, a so-called “divergent mode” of the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) was proposed as an alternative observation strategy to the traditional parallel pointing. In the divergent mode, each telescope points to a position in the sky that is slightly offset, in the outward direction, from the original center of the field of view. This bring the advantage of increasing the total instantaneous arrays’ FoV. From an enlarged field of view also benefits the search for very-high-energy transient sources, making it possible to cover large sky regions in follow-up observations, or to quickly cover the probability sky map in case of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB), Gravitational Waves (GW), and other transient events. In this contribution, we present the proposed implementation of the divergent pointing mode and its first preliminary performance estimation for the southern CTAO array.
Ključne besede: Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTAO, divergent mode, very-high-energy transient sources
Objavljeno v RUNG: 26.09.2023; Ogledov: 956; Prenosov: 5
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Expected exclusion limits to TeV dark matter from the perseus cluster with the Cherenkov Telescope Array
Rémi Adam, Saptashwa Bhattacharyya, Judit Pérez Romero, Samo Stanič, Veronika Vodeb, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Miha Živec, 2023, objavljeni znanstveni prispevek na konferenci

Opis: Clusters of galaxies are the largest gravitationally-bound structures in the Universe. They are composed of galaxies and gas (approximately 15% of the total mass) mostly dark matter (DM, accounts up to 85% of the total mass). If the DM is composed of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), galaxy clusters represent one of the best targets to search for gamma-ray signals induced by the decay of WIMPs, with masses around the TeV scale. Due to its sensitivity and energy range of operation (from 20 GeV to 300 TeV), the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) Observatory has a unique opportunity to test WIMPs with masses close to the unitarity limit. This will complement the searches for DM from other gamma-ray observatories as well as direct and collider experiments. The CTA Observatory is planning to search for gamma-ray emission, either its origin may be cosmic-ray (CR) or DM related, in the Perseus galaxy cluster during the first years of operation. In this poster, we will present the software created to perform the analysis using the ctools software and the corresponding results.
Ključne besede: Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA, dark matter, standard model, dwarf spheroidal galaxies
Objavljeno v RUNG: 26.09.2023; Ogledov: 987; Prenosov: 4
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