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  1. Hallibert, Pascal ; Hull, Tony B. ; Kim, Daewook ; Keller, Fanny (Ed.)
    The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next-generation ground-based observatory for very-high-energy gamma rays. One candidate design for CTA's medium-sized telescopes consists of the Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (SCT), featuring innovative dual-mirror optics. The SCT project has built and is currently operating a 9.7-m prototype SCT (pSCT) at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO); such optical design enables the use of a compact camera with state-of-the art silicon photomultiplier detectors. A partially-equipped camera has recently successfully detected the Crab Nebula with a statistical significance of 8.6 standard deviations. A funded upgrade of the pSCT focal plane sensors and electronics is currently ongoing, which will bring the total number of channels from 1600 to 11328 and the telescope field of view from about 2.7° to 8° . In this work, we will describe the technical and scientific performance of the pSCT.
  2. Sasián, José ; Youngworth, Richard N. (Ed.)
    For the first time in the history of ground-based x-ray astronomy, the on-axis performance of the dual mirror, aspheric, aplanatic Schwarzschild-Couder optical system has been demonstrated in a 9:7-m aperture imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope. The novel design of the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT) is motivated by the need of the next-generation Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) observatory to have the ability to perform wide (>=8°) field-of-view observations simultaneously with superior imaging of atmospheric cascades (resolution of 0:067 per pixel or better). The pSCT design, if implemented in the CTA installation, has the potential to improve significantly both the x-ray angular resolution and the off-axis sensitivity of the observatory, reaching nearly the theoretical limit of the technique and thereby making a major impact on the CTA observatory sky survey programs, follow-up observations of multi-messenger transients with poorly known initial localization, as well as on the spatially resolved spectroscopic studies of extended x-ray sources. This contribution reports on the initial alignment procedures and point-spread-function results for the challenging segmented aspheric primary and secondary mirrors of the pSCT.
  3. null (Ed.)