Cosmic-ray measurements by reconstructing longitudinal shower profiles for the Cherenkov Telescope Array
A. Delgado*, M. Vecchi and V. de Souza
February 15, 2023
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the next generation gamma-ray observatory in the energy range from 20 GeV to 300 TeV, offering 5-10 times better flux sensitivity than the current generation of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. Each telescope will capture an image of the Cherenkov light produced when air showers created by gamma rays or cosmic rays pass through the atmosphere. The longitudinal development of the shower in the atmosphere can be studied by measuring the number of charged particles produced as a function of depth. The reconstruction of the longitudinal shower profile provides the depth of the shower maximum Xmax which is a mass-sensitive parameter useful for cosmic ray composition. In this work, we reconstruct the longitudinal profile and the Xmax of air showers initiated by two kinds of cosmic ray species, proton, and iron, with energies between 10 TeV and 300 TeV. This reconstruction is different from other methods that have been used in the past as template-based fit techniques that require a detailed and computing-intensive simulation chain. In contrast, we use for the first time a parameterized function for the angular distribution of Cherenkov light around the shower axis.
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