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Journal Article

The Upgrade of the HESS Cameras


Hinton,  Jim
Division Prof. Dr. James A. Hinton, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;


Marandon,  Vincent
Division Prof. Dr. James A. Hinton, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;


Schwab,  Thomas
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Giavitto, G., Ashton, T., Balzer, A., Berge, D., Brun, F., Chaminade, T., et al. (2017). The Upgrade of the HESS Cameras. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1792: 070008. doi:10.1063/1.4969005.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-BB23-6
The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) is an array of five imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACT) located in Namibia. In order to assure the continuous operation of H.E.S.S. at its full sensitivity until and possibly beyond the advent of CTA, the older cameras, installed in 2003, are currently undergoing an extensive upgrade. Its goals are reducing the system failure rate, reducing the dead time and improving the overall performance of the array. All camera components have been upgraded, except the mechanical structure and the photo-multiplier tubes (PMTs). Novel technical solutions have been introduced: the upgraded readout electronics is based on the NECTAr analog memory chip; the control of the hardware is carried out by an FPGA coupled to an embedded ARM computer; the control software was re-written from scratch and it is based on modern C++ open source libraries. These hardware and software solutions offer very good performance, robustness and flexibility. The first camera was fielded in July 2015 and has been successfully commissioned; the rest is scheduled to be upgraded in September 2016. The present contribution describes the design, the testing and the performance of the new H.E.S.S. camera and its components.