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1.
Study of downward Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes with the surface detector of the Pierre Auger Observatory
Roberta Colalillo, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The surface detector (SD) of the Pierre Auger Observatory, consisting of 1660 water-Cherenkov detectors (WCDs), covers 3000 km2 in the Argentinian pampa. Thanks to the high efficiency of WCDs in detecting gammarays, it represents a unique instrument for studying downward Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) over a large area. Peculiar events, likely related to downward TGFs, were detected at the Auger Observatory. Their experimental signature and time evolution are very different from those of a shower produced by an ultrahigh-energy cosmic ray. They happen in coincidence with low thunderclouds and lightning, and their large deposited energy at the ground is compatible with that of a standard downward TGF with the source a few kilometers above the ground. A new trigger algorithm to increase the TGF-like event statistics was installed in the whole array. The study of the performance of the new trigger system during the lightning season is ongoing and will provide a handle to develop improved algorithms to implement in the Auger upgraded electronic boards. The available data sample, even if small, can give important clues about the TGF production models, in particular, the shape of WCD signals. Moreover, the SD allows us to observe more than one point in the TGF beam, providing information on the emission angle.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, surface detectors, extensive air shower, terrestrial gamma-ray flashes
Published in RUNG: 23.01.2024; Views: 729; Downloads: 6
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2.
Insight Into Lightning Initiation via Downward Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flash Observations at Telescope Array
J. Remington, Jon Paul Lundquist, 2022, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Due to the difficulty of direct measurement of the thunderstorm environment, in particular the electric field strengths, the initial stages of lightning breakdown remain mysterious. The 1994 discovery of Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) and their implications for megaVolt potentials within thunderclouds has proved to be a valuable source of information about the breakdown process. The Telescope Array Surface Detector (TASD) --- a 700 km^2 scintillator array in Western Utah, U.S.A --- coupled with a lightning mapping array, fast sferic (field change) sensor and broadband interferometer, has provided unique insight into the properties of this energetic radiation and of lightning initiation in general. In particular, microsecond-scale timing comparisons have clearly established that downward TGFs occur during strong initial breakdown pulses (IBPs) of downward negative cloud-to-ground and intracloud flashes. In turn, the IBPs are produced by streamer-based fast negative breakdown. Investigations into downward TGFs with the TASD have significantly evolved with recent upgrades to lightning instrumentation. A second state-of-the-art broadband interferometer allows high-resolution stereo observation of lightning development. A high-speed optical video camera, set to be deployed in Spring 2021, will allow simultaneous observation of the visual component of lightning responsible for TGF production. Finally, a suite of ground based static electric field mills will provide new information on the large-scale properties of the thunderstorms in which downward TGFs arise. In this talk, we present the most recent TGF observations from the Telescope Array.
Keywords: Telescope Array, ground array, ultra-high energy, cosmic rays, photons, terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, gamma-rays, lightning
Published in RUNG: 02.10.2023; Views: 915; Downloads: 6
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3.
Downward Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes at the Pierre Auger Observatory?
R. Colalillo, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2022, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: At the Pierre Auger Observatory, designed primarily to study ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, phenomena related to atmospheric electricity are also observed. Particularly, events have been detected with the surface detector, characterized by long-lasting signals (tens of microseconds) and event footprints much larger (up to 200 km2) than those produced by the highest energy cosmic rays. Moreover, some of them appear to be accompanied by smaller events occurring in the same area within about 1 ms and probably produced by the same phenomenon. A previously reported correlation with the World Wide Lightning Location Network, as well as the observation of very low-altitude clouds, confirm that such events are related to thunderstorms. An ad-hoc reconstruction points to high-energy particles being produced very close to the ground, suggesting that they originate from electrons accelerated to relativistic energies in strong electric fields inside low clouds, as is the case for terrestrial gamma-ray flashes above thunderstorms. A clear explanation of the observed phenomenon is hindered by two facts. One is that the rate of such events, detected serendipitously, is very small (less than 2 events/year) and decreases further after optimization of the surface detector trigger for low-energy shower-events. The second is that most events show a puzzling lack of signals in the central part of the footprint. We have studied in detail both effects and will present such studies here. We developed a strategy for a dedicated trigger to enhance the detection efficiency for these events associated with atmospheric-electricity events.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, surface detection, ultra-high energy, cosmic rays, photons, electrons, gamma-ray flashes, lightning
Published in RUNG: 29.09.2023; Views: 915; Downloads: 6
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4.
HAWC J2227+610: a potential PeVatron candidate for the CTA in the northern hemisphere
Gaia Verna, Saptashwa Bhattacharyya, Barbara MARČUN, Judit Pérez Romero, Samo Stanič, Veronika Vodeb, Serguei Vorobiov, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Marko Zavrtanik, Danilo Zavrtanik, Miha Živec, 2021, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Recent observations of the gamma-ray source HAWC J2227+610 by Tibet AS+MD and LHAASO confirm the special interest of this source as a galactic PeVatron candidate in the northern hemi-sphere. HAWC J2227+610 emits Very High Energy (VHE) gamma-rays up to 500 TeV, from a region coincident with molecular clouds and significantly displaced from the nearby pulsar J2229+6114. Even if this morphology favours an hadronic origin, both leptonic or hadronic models can describe the current VHE gamma-ray emission. The morphology of the source is not well constrained by the present measurements and a better characterisation would greatly help the understanding of the underlying particle acceleration mechanisms. The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the future most sensitive Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope and, thanks to its unprecedented angular resolution, could contribute to better constrain the nature of this source. The present work investigates the potentiality of CTA to study the morphology and the spectrum of HAWC J2227+610. For this aim, the source is simulated assuming the hadronic model proposed by the Tibet AS+MD collaboration, recently fitted on multi-wavelength data, and two spatial templates associated to the source nearby molecular clouds. Di˙erent CTA layouts and observation times are considered. A 3D map based analysis shows that CTA is able to significantly detect the extension of the source and to attribute higher detection significance to the simulated molecular cloud template compared to the alternative one. CTA data does not allow to disentangle the hadronic and the leptonic emission models. However, it permits to correctly reproduce the simulated parent proton spectrum characterized by a ∼ 500 TeV cuto˙.
Keywords: Cherenkov Telescope Array, HAWC J2227+610, very-high-energy gamma-rays
Published in RUNG: 19.09.2023; Views: 878; Downloads: 4
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5.
Exploring the population of Galactic very-high-energy γ-ray sources
Constantin Steppa, Saptashwa Bhattacharyya, Barbara MARČUN, Judit Pérez Romero, Samo Stanič, Veronika Vodeb, Serguei Vorobiov, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Marko Zavrtanik, Danilo Zavrtanik, Miha Živec, 2021, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: At very high energies (VHE), the emission of γ rays is dominated by discrete sources. Due to the limited resolution and sensitivity of current-generation instruments, only a small fraction of the total Galactic population of VHE γ-ray sources has been detected significantly. The larger part of the population can be expected to contribute as a di˙use signal alongside emission originating from propagating cosmic rays. Without quantifying the source population, it is not possible to disentangle these two components. Based on the H.E.S.S. Galactic plane survey, a numerical approach has been taken to develop a model of the population of Galactic VHE γ-ray sources, which is shown to account accurately for the observational bias. We present estimates of the absolute number of sources in the Galactic Plane and their contribution to the total VHE γ-ray emission for five di˙erent spatial source distributions. Prospects for CTA and its ability to constrain the model are discussed. Finally, first results of an extension of our modelling approach using machine learning to extract more information from the available data set are presented.
Keywords: Cherenkov Telescope Array, very-high energy gamma-rays, gamma-ray sources
Published in RUNG: 18.09.2023; Views: 897; Downloads: 5
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6.
Prospects for Galactic transient sources detection with the Cherenkov Telescope Array
Alicia López-Oramas, Saptashwa Bhattacharyya, Barbara MARČUN, Judit Pérez Romero, Samo Stanič, Veronika Vodeb, Serguei Vorobiov, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Marko Zavrtanik, Danilo Zavrtanik, Miha Živec, 2021, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Several types of Galactic sources, like magnetars, microquasars, novae or pulsar wind nebulae flares, display transient emission in the X-ray band. Some of these sources have also shown emission at MeV–GeV energies. However, none of these Galactic transients have ever been detected in the very-high-energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) regime by any Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescope (IACT). The Galactic Transient task force is a part of the Transient Working group of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) Consortium. The task force investigates the prospects of detecting the VHE counterpart of such sources, as well as their study following Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations. In this contribution, we will show some of the results of exploring the capabilities of CTA to detect and observe Galactic transients; we assume di˙erent array configurations and observing strategies.
Keywords: Cherenkov Telescope Array, galactic transient sources, very-high energy gamma rays
Published in RUNG: 18.09.2023; Views: 924; Downloads: 4
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7.
Performance of the Cherenkov Telescope Array in the presence of clouds
Mario Pecimotika, Saptashwa Bhattacharyya, Barbara MARČUN, Judit Pérez Romero, Samo Stanič, Veronika Vodeb, Serguei Vorobiov, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Marko Zavrtanik, Danilo Zavrtanik, Miha Živec, 2021, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the future ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy at very high energies. The atmosphere is an integral part of every Cherenkov telescope. Di˙erent atmospheric conditions, such as clouds, can reduce the fraction of Cherenkov photons produced in air showers that reach ground-based telescopes, which may a˙ect the performance. Decreased sensitivity of the telescopes may lead to misconstructed energies and spectra. This study presents the impact of various atmospheric conditions on CTA performance. The atmospheric transmission in a cloudy atmosphere in the wavelength range from 203 nm to 1000 nm was simulated for di˙erent cloud bases and di˙erent optical depths using the MODerate resolution atmospheric TRANsmission (MODTRAN) code. MODTRAN output files were used as inputs for generic Monte Carlo simulations. The analysis was performed using the MAGIC Analysis and Reconstruction Software (MARS) adapted for CTA. As expected, the e˙ects of clouds are most evident at low energies, near the energy threshold. Even in the presence of dense clouds, high-energy gamma rays may still trigger the telescopes if the first interaction occurs lower in the atmosphere, below the cloud base. A method to analyze very high-energy data obtained in the presence of clouds is presented. The systematic uncertainties of the method are evaluated. These studies help to gain more precise knowledge about the CTA response to cloudy conditions and give insights on how to proceed with data obtained in such conditions. This may prove crucial for alert-based observations and time-critical studies of transient phenomena.
Keywords: Cherenkov Telescope Array, very-high energy gamma rays, MODerate resolution atmospheric TRANsmission code, MAGIC Analysis and Reconstruction Software
Published in RUNG: 18.09.2023; Views: 903; Downloads: 4
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8.
Performance of a proposed event-type based analysis for the Cherenkov Telescope Array
Tarek Hassan, Saptashwa Bhattacharyya, Barbara MARČUN, Judit Pérez Romero, Samo Stanič, Veronika Vodeb, Serguei Vorobiov, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Marko Zavrtanik, Danilo Zavrtanik, Miha Živec, 2021, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the next-generation observatory in the field of very-high-energy (20 GeV to 300 TeV) gamma-ray astroparticle physics. Classically, data analysis in the field maximizes sensitivity by applying quality cuts on the data acquired. These cuts, optimized using Monte Carlo simulations, select higher quality events from the initial dataset. Subsequent steps of the analysis typically use the surviving events to calculate one set of instrument response functions (IRFs). An alternative approach is the use of event types, as implemented in experiments such as the Fermi-LAT. In this approach, events are divided into sub-samples based on their reconstruction quality, and a set of IRFs is calculated for each sub-sample. The sub-samples are then combined in a joint analysis, treating them as independent observations. This leads to an improvement in performance parameters such as sensitivity, angular and energy resolution. Data loss is reduced since lower quality events are included in the analysis as well, rather than discarded. In this study, machine learning methods will be used to classify events according to their expected angular reconstruction quality. We will report the impact on CTA high-level performance when applying such an event-type classification, compared to the classical procedure.
Keywords: Cherenkov Telescope Array, very-high-energy gamma-rays, event-type based analysis
Published in RUNG: 18.09.2023; Views: 902; Downloads: 7
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9.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array transient and multi-messenger program
Alessandro Carosi, Saptashwa Bhattacharyya, Barbara MARČUN, Judit Pérez Romero, Samo Stanič, Veronika Vodeb, Serguei Vorobiov, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Marko Zavrtanik, Danilo Zavrtanik, Miha Živec, 2021, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a next generation ground-based very-high-energy gamma-ray observatory that will allow for observations in the >10 GeV range with unprece-dented photon statistics and sensitivity. This will enable the investigation of the yet-marginally explored physics of short-time-scale transient events. CTA will thus become an invaluable instru-ment for the study of the physics of the most extreme and violent objects and their interactions with the surrounding environment. The CTA Transient program includes follow-up observations of a wide range of multi-wavelength and multi-messenger alerts, ranging from compact galactic binary systems to extragalactic events such as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), core-collapse supernovae and bright AGN flares. In recent years, the first firm detection of GRBs by current Cherenkov telescope collaborations, the proven connection between gravitational waves and short GRBs, as well as the possible neutrino-blazar association with TXS 0506+056 have shown the importance of coordinated follow-up observations triggered by these di˙erent cosmic signals in the framework of the birth of multi-messenger astrophysics. In the next years, CTA will play a major role in these types of observations by taking advantage of its fast slewing (especially for the CTA Large Size Telescopes), large e˙ective area and good sensitivity, opening new opportunities for time-domain astrophysics in an energy range not a˙ected by selective absorption processes typical of other wavelengths. In this contribution we highlight the common approach adopted by the CTA Tran-sients physics working group to perform the study of transient sources in the very-high-energy regime.
Keywords: Cherenkov Telescope Array, very-high-energy gamma-rays, CTA Transient program, multi-wavelength astronomy, multi-messenger astronomy
Published in RUNG: 18.09.2023; Views: 881; Downloads: 6
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10.
Reconstruction of stereoscopic CTA events using deep learning with CTLearn
Tjark Miener, Saptashwa Bhattacharyya, Barbara MARČUN, Judit Pérez Romero, Samo Stanič, Veronika Vodeb, Serguei Vorobiov, Gabrijela Zaharijas, Marko Zavrtanik, Danilo Zavrtanik, Miha Živec, 2021, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), conceived as an array of tens of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs), is an international project for a next-generation ground-based gamma-ray observatory, aiming to improve on the sensitivity of current-generation instruments a factor of five to ten and provide energy coverage from 20 GeV to more than 300 TeV. Arrays of IACTs probe the very-high-energy gamma-ray sky. Their working principle consists of the simultaneous observation of air showers initiated by the interaction of very-high-energy gamma rays and cosmic rays with the atmosphere. Cherenkov photons induced by a given shower are focused onto the camera plane of the telescopes in the array, producing a multi-stereoscopic record of the event. This image contains the longitudinal development of the air shower, together with its spatial, temporal, and calorimetric information. The properties of the originating very-high-energy particle (type, energy, and incoming direction) can be inferred from those images by reconstructing the full event using machine learning techniques. In this contribution, we present a purely deep-learning driven, full-event reconstruction of simulated, stereoscopic IACT events using CTLearn. CTLearn is a package that includes modules for loading and manipulating IACT data and for running deep learning models, using pixel-wise camera data as input.
Keywords: Cherenkov Telescope Array, very-high-energy gamma-rays, CTLearn
Published in RUNG: 18.09.2023; Views: 872; Downloads: 5
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