Cherenkov Telescope Array

An advanced facility for ground-based gamma-ray astronomy

The Design Study

The CTA consortium is performing a Design Study (DS) for the optimization of the performance of the planned observatory and to study its possible implementation. The primary targets of the DS are:

    to narrow down the multidimensional space of design options and technology options, optimizing the relation between performance and cost of the facility,

    to lay out a clear path for how such a facility can be constructed and operated,

    to build and test prototype telescope(s) that are suitable for mass production for a large array of telescopes

A duration of about four years is foreseen for the Design Study. While in 2008 the focus is on the optimization of possible layouts of the telescope system and on the evaluation of possible technical implementations, the year 2009 will be used to construct and test components of prototypes. During 2010-2011 prototype telescope(s) shall be constructed and finally tested in the field.

The Design Study is performed within a set of 11 work packages (see below), which are defined to allow for a well-focused work on the specific sub-tasks, without creating too many interfaces between the different work packages. The coordination of the work in each package and the supervision of their work plans, as well as the interfacing to the other work packages is done by experts on the specific topics.

Short name

Work package title


Astrophysics and astroparticle physics


Optimisation of array layout, performance studies and analysis algorithms


Site evaluation and site infrastructure


Design of telescope optics and mirror


Design of telescope structure, drive and control systems


Focal Plane Instrumentation


Readout electronics and trigger


Atmospheric monitoring, associated science and instrument calibration


Observatory operation and access


Data handling, processing, management and data access


Risk assessment and quality assurance


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