fundamental physics as well as constrain the properties of putative dark matter particles. Further progress is now dependent on building a larger facility exploiting new detector technology and a larger field of view so that the known sources can be studied in more detail and the number of sources can be increased by an order of magnitude (Figure 7.10).

Both the U.S. and the European communities are developing concepts for a next-generation array of ground-based telescopes with an effective area of roughly 1 square kilometer. The U.S. version of this facility (AGIS, the Advanced Gamma-ray Imaging System) was evaluated by the survey and the total cost, estimated to exceed $400 million, was considered too expensive to be entertained, despite technical risk being medium low. The European Čerenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is in a more advanced stage, and there is advantage in sharing the costs and operations in a Europe-U.S. collaboration. The committee recommends that the U.S. AGIS project join CTA for collaboration on a proposal that will combine the best features of both existing projects. Funding availability is likely to permit U.S. participation only as a minor partner, but the promise of this field is so high that continued involvement is strongly recommended. U.S. funding should be shared among DOE, NSF-AST, and NSF-PHY, as happened with VERITAS, and a notional $100 million spread between the agencies over the decade is recommended. Given the large project cost uncertainties, the current lack of a unified project plan, the project ranking, and the likely budget constraints in the coming decade, it will be necessary for the agencies to work quickly with the AGIS/CTA group to define a scope of U.S. involvement that is both significant and realistic.

FIGURE 7.10 ACTA would be, like the pictured VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System), an array of Čerenkov telescopes used to detect very high energy (TeV) gamma rays emanating from astrophysical sources. The proposed ACTA telescope would be a larger-scale international version of this facility and similar ones located in Namibia and the Canary Islands that would increase the sensitivity by roughly an order of magnitude. SOURCE: Image courtesy of Steve Criswell, SAO.

FIGURE 7.10 ACTA would be, like the pictured VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System), an array of Čerenkov telescopes used to detect very high energy (TeV) gamma rays emanating from astrophysical sources. The proposed ACTA telescope would be a larger-scale international version of this facility and similar ones located in Namibia and the Canary Islands that would increase the sensitivity by roughly an order of magnitude. SOURCE: Image courtesy of Steve Criswell, SAO.



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