CTA will provide very wide energy range and excellent angular resolution and sensitivity in comparison to any existing gamma-ray detector. Energies up to 300 TeV will push CTA beyond the edge of the known electromagnetic spectrum, providing a completely new view of the sky. Here is how CTA’s energy range will compare to some of the existing astronomical instruments:
The plots and linked files on this page represent the baseline performance expected from CTA, as obtained from detailed Monte Carlo simulations of the facility. The final CTA performance may differ slightly from these estimates, due to e.g. improvement of analysis algorithms. Note also that the plots on this page are a subset of the information available in the linked Instrument Response Files (IRFs). For example, the IRFs contain the dependence of all the performance parameters (e.g. energy and angular resolution) with the energy and the direction of observation within the CTA field of view, but the plots below (except those showing differential sensitivities) refer to the center of the field of view and show only the dependence of the parameters with energy.
The performance is that of the proposed baseline array layouts for the southern and northern sites of the CTA Observatory, located at the Paranal Observatory (Chile) and Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Spain) respectively (see Astroparticle Physics v. 93, Hassan T. et al 2017) and consisting of:
- CTA Southern Site: 4 Large-Sized Telescopes, 25 Medium-Sized Telescopes and 70 Small-Sized Telescopes (area covered by the array of telescopes: ~4 km2)
- CTA Northern Site: 4 Large-Sized Telescopes and 15 Medium-Sized Telescopes (area covered by the array of telescopes: ~0.6 km2)