Update from the Managing Director: Closing the Book on 2020 & Moving Toward Construction
By: Federico Ferrini, CTAO Managing Director
The famous song “Money, Money makes the world go round…” from the film Cabaret has been playing through my head as we near the end of 2020. It may sound a bit indecent to talk of money in the context of our ambitious, grand and splendid scientific project, but I hope you will agree that it is only honourable and honest to raise this theme, with the objective to ensure the necessary funding to sustain the construction of the Observatory.
And as our (multiple) governing bodies are now faced with what we can feasibly realise from our grand scheme with the available funding, it has not come as a negative signal, but vice versa, as a strong incentive! With the cost book in place and the ERIC on the horizon, we have come to the point where our shareholders are faced with the urgency of committing funds for construction, signaling that the project is mature and that the conditions for its realisation are, finally, well assessed.
For now, this means we will not get everything we want – the full baseline design of 118 telescopes – but that we will take a phased approach with up to nine telescopes on the northern array and around 65 telescopes in the south. We are working hard with our Project Scientist and the CTA Consortium (CTAC) to ensure that the configurations we build now will have the greatest potential for achieving CTA’s scientific goals. Even with these initial arrays, CTA will be larger and more advanced than anything we have now, but, rest assured, we will not be deterred from continuing to seek funding for the full baseline array.
Fortunately, the CTAO staff, CTAC Board Chair and Spokespersons and the telescope management teams are working diligently, together, to support this effort. Naturally, this stage involves everyone related to the CTA project and, after more than a decade of brilliant work by hundreds of scientists and engineers, we will begin our transformation from a population of independent tribes into a compact and well-structured army, moving from guerrilla warfare to military campaign!
Forza e Coraggio.
Read more project updates in the December 2020 issue of the CTA Newsletter.