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F.A. Aharonian (MPI-K, Heidelberg), H.E.S.S. Collaboration
The H.E.S.S. collaboration - named after Victor Hess, the discoverer of cosmic rays - has started to build a large imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope (IACT) array in the Southern Hemisphere in the Khomas Highland of Namibia. In its final stage, the H.E.S.S. experiment will have up to 16 telescopes each with about 100 m2 mirror area and a high resolution camera with a pixel size of 0.16 degree, and approximately a 5 degree field of view. The schedule foresees to start with scientific operations of Phase 1, a 4-telescope subsystem, in 2002. The IACT system of HEGRA has successfully proven the dramatic increase in data quality which can be achieved using the stereoscopic observation method. H.E.S.S. will have a detection threshold of about 50 GeV, an angular resolution of less than a few arcminutes, and an energy resolution less than 20 per cent. With a full 16-telescope system and 100 h observation time the flux sensitivity within the energy interval 100 GeV - 1 TeV is expected at the level of several times 10-13 erg/cm2s. The superior sensitivity of H.E.S.S. will allow the observation of a significant number of objects and new source populations at GeV-TeV energies, and will contribute to long-standing astrophysical problems such as the origin of cosmic rays and the physics and astrophysics of relativistic jets in AGN.