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  1. Abstract For decades, searches for electroweak-scale dark matter (DM) have been performed without a definitive detection. This lack of success may hint that DM searches have focused on the wrong mass range. A proposed candidate beyond the canonical parameter space is ultraheavy DM (UHDM). In this work, we consider indirect UHDM annihilation searches for masses between 30 TeV and 30 PeV—extending well beyond the unitarity limit at ∼100 TeV—and discuss the basic requirements for DM models in this regime. We explore the feasibility of detecting the annihilation signature, and the expected reach for UHDM with current and future very-high-energy (VHE; >100 GeV) γ -ray observatories. Specifically, we focus on three reference instruments: two Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope arrays, modeled on VERITAS and CTA-North, and one extended air shower array, motivated by HAWC. With reasonable assumptions on the instrument response functions and background rate, we find a set of UHDM parameters (mass and cross section) for which a γ -ray signature can be detected by the aforementioned observatories. We further compute the expected upper limits for each experiment. With realistic exposure times, the three instruments can probe DM across a wide mass range. At the lower end, it can still have a point-like cross section, while at higher masses the DM could have a geometric cross section, indicative of compositeness. 
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  2. Abstract The identification and description of point sources is one of the oldest problems in astronomy, yet even today the correct statistical treatment for point sources remains one of the field’s hardest problems. For dim or crowded sources, likelihood-based inference methods are required to estimate the uncertainty on the characteristics of the source population. In this work, a new parametric likelihood is constructed for this problem using compound Poisson generator (CPG) functionals that incorporate instrumental effects from first principles. We demonstrate that the CPG approach exhibits a number of advantages over non-Poissonian template fitting (NPTF)—an existing method—in a series of test scenarios in the context of X-ray astronomy. These demonstrations show that the effect of the point-spread function, effective area, and choice of point-source spatial distribution cannot, generally, be factorized as they are in NPTF, while the new CPG construction is validated in these scenarios. Separately, an examination of the diffuse-flux emission limit is used to show that most simple choices of priors on the standard parameterization of the population model can result in unexpected biases: when a model comprising both a point-source population and diffuse component is applied to this limit, nearly all observed flux will be assigned to either the population or to the diffuse component. A new parameterization is presented for these priors that properly estimates the uncertainties in this limit. In this choice of priors, CPG correctly identifies that the fraction of flux assigned to the population model cannot be constrained by the data. 
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  3. null (Ed.)