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A NECTAr-based upgrade for the Cherenkov cameras of the H.E.S.S. 12-meter telescopes

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

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

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

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Fulltext (public)

2001.04510.pdf
(Preprint), 15MB

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Citation

Ashton, T., Backes, M., Balzer, A., Berge, D., Bolmont, J., Bonnefoy, S., et al. (2020). A NECTAr-based upgrade for the Cherenkov cameras of the H.E.S.S. 12-meter telescopes. Astroparticle Physics, 118: 102425. doi:10.1016/j.astropartphys.2019.102425.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-69A9-5
Abstract
The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) is one of the three arrays of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) currently in operation. It is composed of four 12-meter telescopes and a 28-meter one, and is sensitive to gamma rays in the energy range ~30 GeV - 100 TeV. The cameras of the 12-m telescopes recently underwent a substantial upgrade, with the goal of improving their performance and robustness. The upgrade involved replacing all camera components except for the photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). This meant developing new hardware for the trigger, readout, power, cooling and mechanical systems, and new software for camera control and data acquisition. Several novel technologies were employed in the cameras: the readout is built around the new NECTAr digitizer chip, developed for the next generation of IACTs; the camera electronics is fully controlled and read out via Ethernet using a combination of FPGA and embedded ARM computers; the software uses modern libraries such as Apache Thrift, ZMQ and Protocol buffers. This work describes in detail the design and the performance of the upgraded cameras.