Muons as a tool for background rejection in imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope arrays
L. Olivera-Nieto*, A. Mitchell, K. Bernlöhr and J. Hinton
July 06, 2021
March 18, 2022
The presence of muons in air-showers initiated by cosmic ray protons and nuclei is well established as a powerful tool to separate such showers from those initiated by gamma-rays. However, so far this approach has been fully exploited only for ground level particle detecting arrays. In this contribution, we explore the feasibility of using Cherenkov light from muons as a background rejection tool for imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope arrays at the highest energies. We adopt an analytical model of the Cherenkov light from individual muons to allow rapid simulation of a large number of showers in a hybrid mode. This allows exploration of the very high background rejection power regime at acceptable cost in terms of computing time. We find that for very large telescopes ($\gtrsim$20 m diameter), efficient identification of muons would provide a major improvement with respect to standard background rejection techniques at energies above several tens of TeVs.
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