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Proceedings Paper

Feasibility study of airborne calibration of the Cherenkov Telescope Array
Author(s): Anthony M. Brown; Paula M. Chadwick; Miranda Frizzelle; Markus Gaug; Paul Clark; Jamie Graham; Thomas Armstrong
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Paper Abstract

The advances in battery life, flight control software and carbon fibre technology over recent years have made the use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as an airborne calibration platform for astronomical facilities a possibility. This is especially attractive for arrays of telescopes spread over a large area such as the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). It is envisaged that the CTA will use UAVs to perform a range of calibration routines, with the primary routines being the cross-calibration of the optical throughput for different telescope types, as well as monitoring of the multi-wavelength performance of CTA's telescopes and the characterisation of the atmosphere above CTA. In this contribution, the cross-calibrating performance of an airborne calibration device is described, together with some preliminary test flights to characterise the flight performance of a UAV carrying the calibration payload.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 July 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9906, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI, 99061W (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231409
Show Author Affiliations
Anthony M. Brown, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
Paula M. Chadwick, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
Miranda Frizzelle, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
Markus Gaug, Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)
Paul Clark, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
Jamie Graham, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
Thomas Armstrong, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9906:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI
Helen J. Hall; Roberto Gilmozzi; Heather K. Marshall, Editor(s)

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