FACT — STATUS AND FIRST RESULTS

Daniela Dorner, A. Biland, T. Bretz, J. Buss, S. Einecke, D. Eisenacher, D. Hildebrand, M. L. Knoetig, T. Krähenbühl, W. Lustermann, K. Mannheim, K. Meier, D. Neise, A.-K. Overkemping, A. Paravac, F. Pauss, W. Rhode, M. Ribordy, T. Steinbring, F. Temme, J. Thaele, P. Vogler, R. Walter, Q. Weitzel, M. Zänglein

Abstract


FACT is the first imaging Cherenkov telescope based on a camera using solid state photosensors (Geigermode Avalanche Photodiodes G-APD aka SiPM). Since October 2011, it has been taking data regularly. Apart from commissioning and calibration measurements, it has already started regular operation, where the main goal is to do long-term monitoring of bright TeV blazars. In June 2012, a flare of Mrk 501 was observed. Thanks to the robustness of the G-APDs, observations can be carried out during strong moon light without aging of the sensors. This improves the duty cycle of the instrument and provides better statistics for long-term light curves. The telescope, situated on the Canary Island of La Palma, is operated, already now, remotely from central Europe. For the future, robotic operation is planned. We report on our experiences during the commissioning, and we present first results from the first 1.5 years of observations.

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague