HEAD Division Meeting 1999, April 1999
Session 26. Missions and Instruments
Poster, Wednesday, April 14, 1999, 8:30am Wed. - 2:00pm Thurs., Gold Room

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[26.02] HESS - A System of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes for Stereoscopic Air Shower Observations in the >50 GeV Energy Range

H. Krawczynski (Max-Planck-Institut f\"ur Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Germany), HESS Collaboration

HESS (High Energy Stereoscopic System) will be a system of initially 4 and ultimately 16 Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes for Gamma-Ray Astronomy in the >50 GeV energy range based on the method of stereoscopic air shower observations. The IACT system of HEGRA has successfully proven the dramatic increase in data quality which can be achieved using the stereoscopic observation method. The sensitivity of the HESS system for detecting \gamma-ray sources will be about one order of magnitude better than the sensitivity of present day Cherenkov telescope installations. A large field of view of ~5\circ and an angular resolution for single photons of better than 0.1\circ will allow detailed morphological studies of extended (up to 1\circ diameter) sources. High resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy will be possible using the excellent energy resolution of 20% for individual photons.

An efficient suppression of the background of cosmic-ray induced air showers by analysis of the shower images alone by a factor of O(100) will be reached by combining the information of several telescopes which view each shower from different angles.

The HESS project will benefit to a large extent from the experiences which were made during building and during running the system telescopes of HEGRA, and the CAT telescope. The HESS detector is planned to be installed in the Southern Hemisphere, i.e.\ in the Gamsberg region, Namibia. The first 4 telescopes are expected to be operational in 2001.

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