Current progress toward construction and the first telescopes on site

Project Status


The project to build CTA is well-advanced: the Medium-Sized Telescope prototype and all three proposed designs of the Small-Sized Telescope have achieved ‘first light,’ the Large-Sized Telescope prototype was inaugurated in October 2018 and the Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope prototype inauguration is in January 2019. An inter-governmental agreement for construction and subsequent operation of the observatory, for which a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is foreseen, is in preparation and the financial threshold is expected to be reached by the middle of 2018.


The below timeline illustrates the estimated timing for major project milestones through the beginning of 2020. In 2018, infrastructure conceptual planning for the northern hemisphere site is mostly complete, and the detailed designs and necessary permits for construction of the telescope foundations and infrastructure are being prepared. Construction will begin in 2019, if all goes as planned.


CTA Timeline


CTA has come a long way since its conception in 2005. This timeline illustrates CTA’s progress and the estimated timeline for major milestones yet to be completed in order for operations to begin in 2022 and array construction to end in 2025.