Written by: Jürgen Knödlseder, Chair, CTA Consortium
The CTA Consortium’s new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), officially became effective on 2 October 2019 after 52 signatures were obtained (or two-thirds of 78 parties). The CTA Consortium is the group of scientists and engineers that devised the CTA concept more than a decade ago and have been the driving force behind its design. When the Consortium was formed in 2008, the primary goal was the design and promotion of a next generation Cherenkov telescope instrument that can address the many open questions that exist in high-energy astrophysics. At that time, issues like data access and data rights, writing observation proposals and dealing with commissioning and early operations were not the main focus.
Today, the Consortium is composed of more than 1,500 members from 200 institutes in 31 countries. And with the construction of CTA on the horizon and the first Large-Sized Telescope prototype under commissioning on the CTA-North site on La Palma, all these issues need to be carefully addressed. For this reason, the CTA Consortium has been working since 2014 on a new MoU, which defines the vision for how scientists and engineers in CTA will work together moving forward.
This new MoU was endorsed by the CTA Consortium Board during its 2nd semester meeting in Berlin in 2018, and the signature of the document was started in May this year. Now that the document has become effective, a transition period of approximately one year has begun and will be completed when Consortium members are admitted under the new rules and a new CTA Consortium management team is elected. When this is accomplished, the CTA Consortium 2.0 will be fully installed, operational and prepared for the exciting years to come, when the CTA Observatory will be built and will commence its first science operations.