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A Monte Carlo Template based analysis for Air-Cherenkov Arrays


Parsons,  R. D.
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Parsons, R. D., & Hinton, J. A. (2014). A Monte Carlo Template based analysis for Air-Cherenkov Arrays. Astroparticle Physics, 56, 26-34. doi:10.1016/j.astropartphys.2014.03.002.

We present a high-performance event reconstruction algorithm: an Image Pixel-wise fit for Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (ImPACT). The reconstruction algorithm is based around the likelihood fitting of camera pixel amplitudes to an expected image template. A maximum likelihood fit is performed to find the best-fit shower parameters. A related reconstruction algorithm has already been shown to provide significant improvements over traditional reconstruction for both the CAT and H.E.S.S. experiments. We demonstrate a significant improvement to the template generation step of the procedure, by the use of a full Monte Carlo air shower simulation in combination with a ray-tracing optics simulation to more accurately model the expected camera images. This reconstruction step is combined with an MVA-based background rejection. Examples are shown of the performance of the ImPACT analysis on both simulated and measured (from a strong VHE source) gamma-ray data from the H.E.S.S. array, demonstrating an improvement in sensitivity of more than a factor two in observation time over traditional image moments-fitting methods, with comparable performance to previous likelihood fitting analyses. ImPACT is a particularly promising approach for future large arrays such as the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) due to its improved high-energy performance and suitability for arrays of mixed telescope types.