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Session 53 - Gamma Ray Investigations.
Oral session, Thursday, June 12
North Main Hall F/G,

[53.07] Current and Projected Capabilities of the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (STACEE) for \gamma-ray Astronomy below 100 GeV

M. C. Chantell, C. E. Covault, M. Dragovan, R. A. Ong, S. Oser (U of Chicago), D. Bhattacharya, O. T. Tumer (U of California, Riverside), D. T. Gregorich (California State University, Los Angeles), D. S. Hanna (McGill Univ. (Canada)), D. A. Williams (U of California, Santa Cruz)

There are currently no experiments, either satellite or ground-based, that are sensitive to astrophysical \gamma-rays in the energy range between 20 and 250 GeV. We are developing the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (STACEE) to explore this energy range. STACEE will use heliostat mirrors at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility, located at Sandia National Laboratorys near Albuquerque NM., to collect Cherenkov light produced by extensive air showers initiated by high energy \gamma-rays. The STACEE collaboration has recently completed a series of tests at this site that demonstrate the ability of this experiment to operate with a \gamma-ray energy threshold well below 100 GeV. We present the results of these tests and use them to predict the scientific potential of a 32 heliostat experiment operating for a full winter-spring observing season.

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