Contribution Poster (A0 portrait)
Construction of a Schwarzschild-Couder telescope as a candidate for the Cherenkov Telescope Array: status and performance of the optical alignment system
The 9.7m Schwarzschild-Couder (SC) medium-sized telescope is a candidate for the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). It exploits a novel aplanatic two-mirror optical design to provide a large field of view of 8 degrees and improved angular resolution across the whole field of view compared to single-mirror designs. In addition, the reduced plate scale of the camera allows the use of compact, high quantum efficiency photon detectors, such as silicon photomultipliers, providing an unprecedented spatial sampling of showers. The realization of such an optical design implies the challenging production of large aspherical mirrors and the implementation of a sophisticated custom alignment system capable of achieving submillimeter precision. The construction of a prototype Schwarzschild-Couder telescope (pSCT) started in June 2015 at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Southern Arizona and is nearing completion. In this contribution, we report on the design, implementation, and performance of the pSCT optical alignment system.