High Energy Stereoscopic System in Namibia by Dr R. Steenkamp & Dr M. Backes

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High Energy Stereoscopic System in Namibia by Dr R. Steenkamp & Dr M. Backes

  1. 1. R. Steenkamp & M. Backes (& I.D. Davids)
  2. 2. H.E.S.S. Phases I & II – High Energy Stereoscopic System – fait accompli SKA – Square Kilometre Array – will happen in Southern Africa – Namibia will have 4 satellite sites
  3. 3. H.E.S.S. (in operation)  H.E.S.S. Phase I  1996 – Letter of Intent  2000 – Construction starts  2002 – Operations start  2004 – Inauguration of full Phase I array (28 Spetember)  2006 – Descartes prize, ranked 10th most influential observatory in the world  2010 – Rossi prize  H.E.S.S. Phase II  2012 – Inauguration of Phase II (28 September)  Largest Cherenkov telescope in the world
  4. 4. SKA (will happen)  1991: Concept  1993: International working group created  2008: PrepSKA commences  2012:  KAT-7 (7x12m) operational – science programme starts  25 May – jointly awarded to Southern Africa & Australia  2015—2016: MeerKAT (64x13.5m) operational  2016-2019: SKA Phase 1 construction  2020: SKA Phase 1 complete (300 million Euro)  2024: SKA Phase 2 complete (1.5 billion Euro)  2022: SKA Phase 3 …
  5. 5. SKA in Namibia  Namibia has the most SKA satellite sites of any of the participating countries other than South Africa  4 sites identified in radio quiet regions of Namibia  20—40 radio telescopes per site  Construction will have to start in 2016 Site Longitude Latitude Nam-0 18.648 -25.785 Nam-1 16.043 -22.183 Nam-2 17.800 -19.600 Nam-4 13.186 -23.271
  6. 6. Siting SKA • H.E.S.S. (farm Goellschau) • Identified SKA sites
  7. 7. CTA South – Cherenkov Telescope Array (Southern Hemisphere) AVN – African VLBI Network (VLBI = Very Long Baseline Interferometry) SKA IS COMING…
  8. 8. AVN a precursor to SKA  Analogous to other VLBI networks in the world:  EuropeanVLBI Network (EVN), Australia Telkescope Long Baseline Array (AT-LBA), Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), etc  One 25—32 metre radio telescope needed per country  Conversion of existing redundant antennas:  Ghana, Kenya, Zambia  Conversion/New Build?  Madagascar  New Builds required (25 metre entry level):  Mauritius, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique
  9. 9. New Build for Namibia?  25—32 m diameter  25 m entry into VLBI work  32 m optimal but expensive  Cost scales as (surface area)2.6
  10. 10. Namibian Radio Telescope site  Entry level 25 metre new build  Site at:  SKA Nam-1 (shared site development – AVN & SKA)  H.E.S.S./Secondary CTA site (existing infrastructure to be expanded – possible shared site development)  Primary CTA site (shared site development – AVN & CTA)  Infrastructure:  10 Gb/s data link  Buried power feeder  Water  Access road
  11. 11. Siting AVN • H.E.S.S. (farm Goellschau) • Identified SKA sites • Proposed primary CTA site (farm Aar) • Possible Namibian AVN telescope site(s)???
  12. 12. CTA partners in Southern Africa
  13. 13. The CTA Consortion >1050 academics spread over 27 countries!
  14. 14. CTA South – the Namibian bid  CTA – North & South (200 million Euro)  CTA North (2 types of telescopes – 19 in total)  4 LSTs, 15 MSTs (1 km2) (cost: 1/3 of total)  Contenders: USA, Mexico, Canaries  CTA South (4 types of telescopes – 135 in total)  4 LSTs, 25 MSTs, 70 SSTs, 36 SCTs (10 km2) (cost: 2/3 of total)  Contenders: Namibia, Argentina, Chile  Namibia proposed 2 sites:  Primary: small plateau on Farm Aar near Aus  Secondary: HESS site on Farm Goellschau
  15. 15. Large Scale Telescopes  23 m diameter  400 m2 surface area  Lowest energy observations  < 200 GeV  4 LSTs per site
  16. 16. Medium Scale Telescopes  12 m diameter  100 m2 surface area  Medium range energy observations  100 GeV – 10 TeV  25 MSTs on Southern site  16 MSTs in Northern site
  17. 17.  4.3 m diameter  Highers energy observations  > 10 TeV  70 SSTs on Southern site only
  18. 18. Medium Sized Dual-Mirror telescopes  9.7 m diameter  50 m2  Adding 36 SCTs contributed by USA to the CTA South to extend the MST array
  19. 19. Why Namibia for CTA South? • Offers some of the darkest cloud-free skies with the least amount of light pollution in Southern Africa • Established and sophisticated power & telecommunications infrastructure • Established host for large science projects, e.g. H.E.S.S. • Political stability • Multi-wavelength opportunities & synergies with SKA, AVN & SALT • If successful, Southern Africa will host the two most powerful telescopes of its kind in the world (CTA & SKA)
  20. 20. Site Requirements for CTA  1 Gb/s data link (SEACOM+Xnet??)  4 MW of power (NamPower)  Water supply (Ministry of Works borehole)  Access road  Good logistics  10 km2 of rather flat surface > 1500 m a.s.l.  Minimum cloud cover & dark skies  Low risk  …
  21. 21. Siting CTA • H.E.S.S. (farm Goellschau) • Identified SKA sites • Proposed primary CTA site (farm Aar) • Proposed secondary CTA site (farm Goellschau)
  22. 22. Best site in Namibia for CTA South Aar HESS Capital with Airport (40km) Harbour (120km) & Airport (112km) Railway Station
  23. 23. Site Location Aar (Aar-west) (16.4530ºE, -26.691ºS) (1633±13) m asl Implantation of CTA array
  24. 24. Infrastructure (Electricity) Electricity (Aar): • Two 132kV lines passing the farm Aar. • The closes substation just north of Aus, connecting it with a 33 kV line • A new power line, from Aus to farm Aar would have to be built. • Rough estimate: N$13 million
  25. 25. Infrastructure (Water) Water: • Aar: • Boreholes on Farm Kubub (35 m3/hour)  sufficient water available • needs to be pumped up to the plateau & stored in reservoir
  26. 26. Quality of the Namibian Site(s)
  27. 27. CTA Timeline  CTA-PP: 2010—2013 (FP7 funded - UNAM a signatory)  Deadline for input: 30June 2013  Site visits by independent Site Selection Committee (SSC): 19—28 August 2013  Recommendations from SSC by Q4 2013  Site Decision: 19/20 December 2013  2014/15: Negotiation & signature of detailed site agreements  2015/16: comencement of preparations & construction  Construction phase: 4—5 years after start
  28. 28. CTA Resource Board  Meeting attended by highest level official possible in government/funding agencies of member counries…  Namibia & South Africa signatories of the CTA Declaration of Intent (DoI)  Argentinian delegation headed by a Deputy Minister of Science & Technology  South African delegation headed by Prof. Nithya Chetty, Group Executive: Astronomy at the NRF  Namibian delegation headed in the past by Mr Alfred van Kent, Director of the DRST at the MoE…
  29. 29. CTA-RB: Namibian Delegation  The Future delegation to the CTA Resource Board should be either the  CEO of the NCRST or  A Director/Deputy Director of the NCRST tasked with Astronomy &/ Space Science
  30. 30. How to get the maximum advantage for Namibia from H.E.S.S., SKA/AVN & CTA?
  31. 31. H.E.S.S. (historical analysis)  H.E.S.S. was not sufficiently utilised for capacity building. WHY?  Lack of minimal resources to participate in H.E.S.S.  Powers-that-be misunderstanding the nature of international collaborations  Lack of candidates to be trained  MSc entry level required – level problem  No undergraduate scholarships  Lack of manpower within Namibia:  Astrophysicists (to participate in science programmes)  Engineers (to participate in instrument design & development)  Only one astrophysicist trained (Isak D. Davids)  Too few by an order of magnitude
  32. 32. A lesson from SA & SKA  When SA started to bid for SKA, it had only 3 radio astronomers and no radio telescope engineers  NRF – created undergraduate and graduate scholarships for  Engineers specialising in radio telescope technology  Radio astronomers  Started to develop technology for  KAT-7 MeerKAT SKA at engineering level  Manpower was developed for a successful SKA bid  SUCCESS!!!
  33. 33. Roadmap for Namibia I  Create few undergraduate (& graduate) scholarships ASAP for  Instrument scientists & radio telescope engineers  Astrophysicists (Radio – & High Energy –)  Create two fully resourced NRF-like research chairs around which a centre of excellence can be established in the fields of  Radio Astronomy  High Energy Astrophysics  Create a Astronomy/Space Science Group/Division in the NCRST to help spearhead efforts
  34. 34. Roadmap for Namibia II  Set up post-doctoral programme to attract young researchers from abroad to help establish research groups  Help facilitate the construction of a radio telescope for the Namibian AVN telescope  Utilise standing agreements to train students in specialised courses in SA (HartRAO, NASSP) to have Namibians available to run the SKA satellite stations and participate in SKA/AVN science  Become actively involved in technology design & creation
  35. 35. Summary & Conclusion  Namibia (and Southern Africa) is now for the very first time in a position to take advantage of BIG SCIENCE:  SKA will be the largest telescope system ever built and one of the biggest science projects in history.  (1.5 billion Euro ~ 18 billion NAD/ZAR project)  CTA will be the largest gamma-ray observatory in the world  (200 million Euro ~ 2.4 billion NAD/ZAR project)  SKA/AVN & CTA present unique opportunities that must be taken advantage of and exploited for the benefit of Namibia

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