Two array locations - two eyes on the turbulent universe

CTAO Arrays, Headquarters and SDMC Sites

CTAO Locations Map

Above: The CTAO consists of two array site locations — one in Chile and one Spain — the CTAO Headquarters in Italy and the Science Data Management Centre (SDMC) in Germany. An office for the interim legal entity, the CTAO gGmbH, is located in Heidelberg, Germany.


CTAO Headquarters Building (credit: Bologna Today)

The CTAO Headquarters (HQ) is located in Bologna (Italy) at the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF) in a building shared with the Bologna University Department of Physics and Astronomy. The CTAO HQ will be the central office responsible for the overall direction of Observatory operations. Personnel here provide technical coordination and support,, and the main administrative services for the governing bodies and users of the Observatory.

Science Data Management Centre

Rendering of SDMC (credit: Heinle, Wischer und Partner | Freie Architekten)

The Science Data Management Centre (SDMC) will coordinate operations and make the CTAO’s science products available to the worldwide community. SDMC personnel will manage the CTAO’s computing and science operations coordination, including software maintenance and data processing for the Observatory. The SDMC will be located in a new building complex under construction on the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) campus in Zeuthen, just outside Berlin. 

Array Sites

The CTAO has hosting agreements with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) for the southern array site near Paranal, Chile, and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) for the northern array site in Villa de Garafía on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain. The site decisions were made after years of careful consideration of extensive studies of the environmental conditions, simulations of the science performance and assessments of construction and operation costs. Click below to learn more about the array sites.