F. Russo

National Research Council, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (49)29.97 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In the context of the Cherenkov Telescope Array observatory project, the ASTRI SST-2M end-to-end prototype telescope, entirely supported by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics, is designed to detect cosmic primary gamma ray energies from few TeV up to hundreds of TeV. The ASTRI SST-2M prototype camera is part of the challenging synergy of novel optical design, camera sensors, front-end electronics and telescope structure design. The camera is devoted to imaging and recording the Cherenkov images of air showers induced by primary particles into the Earth’s atmosphere. In order to match the energy range mentioned above, the camera must be able to trigger events within a few tens of nanoseconds with high detection efficiency. This is obtained by combining silicon photo-multiplier sensors and suitable front-end electronics. Due to the characteristic imprint of the Cherenkov image that is a function of the shower core distance, the signal dynamic range of the pixels and consequently of the front-end electronics must span three orders of magnitude (1:1000 photo-electrons). These and many other features of the ASTRI SST-2M prototype camera will be reported in this contribution together with a complete overview of the mechanical and thermodynamic camera system.
    SPIE 9147, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V; 07/2014
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    ABSTRACT: ASTRI SST-2M is the end-to-end prototype telescope under development by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics, INAF, proposed for the investigation of the highest-energy gamma-ray band in the framework of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA. The ASTRI SST-2M prototype will be installed in Italy at the INAF station located at Serra La Nave on Mount Etna during Fall 2014. The calibration and scientific validation phase will start soon after. The calibration of a Cherenkov telescope includes several items and tools. The ASTRI SST- 2M camera is equipped with an internal fiber illumination system that allows to perform the relative calibration through monitoring of gain and efficiency variations of each pixel. The absolute calibration of the overall system, including optics, will take advantage from auxiliary instrumentation, namely UVscope and UVSiPM, two small-aperture multi-pixels photon detectors NIST calibrated in lab. During commissioning phase, to measure the main features of ASTRI SST-2M, as its overall spectral response, the main telescope and the auxiliary UVscope-UVSiPM will be illuminated simultaneously by a spatially uniform flux generated by a ground-based light source, named Illuminator, placed at a distance of few hundreds meters. Periodically, during clear nights, the flux profiles of a reference star tracked simultaneously by ASTRI SST-2M and UVscope-UVSiPM will allow to evaluate the total atmospheric attenuation and the absolute calibration constant of the ASTRI SST-2M prototype. In this contribution we describe the auxiliary UVscope-UVSiPM and Illuminator sub-system together with an overview of the end-to-end calibration procedure foreseen for the ASTRI SST-2M telescope prototype.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2014, Montreal, Canada; 07/2014
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    ABSTRACT: ASTRI (Astrofisica con Specchi a Tecnologia Replicante Italiana) is a Flagship Project funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, and led by INAF, the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics. Within this framework, INAF is currently developing an end-to-end prototype, named ASTRI SST-2M, of a Small Size Dual-Mirror Telescope for the Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA. A second goal of the project is the realization of the ASTRI/CTA mini-array which will be composed of seven SST-2M telescopes placed at the CTA Southern Site. The ASTRI Mini Array Software System (MASS) is designed to support the ASTRI/CTA mini-array operations. MASS is being built on top of the ALMA Common Software (ACS) framework, which provides support for the implementation of distributed data acquisition and control systems, and functionality for log and alarm management, message driven communication and hardware devices management. The first version of the MASS system, which will comply with the CTA requirements and guidelines, will be tested on the ASTRI SST-2M prototype. In this contribution we present the interface definitions of the MASS high level components in charge of the ASTRI SST-2M observation scheduling, telescope control and monitoring, and data taking. Particular emphasis is given to their potential reuse for the ASTRI/CTA mini-array
    ADASS XXIV, Calgary, Canada, 5-9 October 2014, Calgary, Canada; 01/2014
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    ABSTRACT: ASTRI (Astrofisica con Specchi a Tecnologia Replicante Italiana), is a flagship project of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research whose main goal is the design and construction of an end-to-end prototype of the Small Size of Telescopes of the Cherenkov Telescope Array. The prototype, named ASTRI SST-2M, will adopt a wide field dual mirror optical system in a Schwarzschild-Couder configuration to explore the VHE range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The camera at the focal plane is based on Silicon Photo-Multipliers detectors which is an innovative solution for the detection astronomical Cherenkov light. This contribution reports some preliminary results on the evaluation of the optical cross talk level among the SiPM pixels foreseen for the ASTRI SST-2M camera.
    Journal of Instrumentation 12/2013; 9(02). DOI:10.1088/1748-0221/9/02/C02015 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ASTRI is a Flagship Project financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, and led by INAF, the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics. Within this framework, INAF is currently developing an end-to-end prototype of a Small Size Telescope in a dual-mirror configuration (SST-2M) for the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), scheduled to start data acquisition in 2014. Although the ASTRI SST-2M prototype is mainly a technological demonstrator, it will perform scientific observations of the Crab Nebula, Mrk 421 and Mrk 501 at E>1 TeV. A remarkable improvement in terms of performance could come from the operation, in 2016, of a SST-2M mini-array, composed of a few SST-2M telescopes to be placed at final CTA Southern Site. The SST mini-array will be able to study in great detail relatively bright sources (a few x 10E-12 erg/cm2/s at 10 TeV) with angular resolution of a few arcmin and energy resolution of about 10-15%. Thanks to the stereo approach, it will be possible to verify the wide field of view (FoV) performance through the detections of very high-energy showers with core located at a distance up to 500 m, to compare the mini-array performance with the Monte Carlo expectations by means of deep observations of selected targets, and to perform the first CTA science at the beginning of the mini-array operations. Prominent sources such as extreme blazars, nearby well-known BL Lac objects and radio-galaxies, galactic pulsar wind nebulae, supernovae remnants, micro-quasars, and the Galactic Center can be observed in a previously unexplored energy range, in order to investigate the electron acceleration and cooling, relativistic and non relativistic shocks, the search for cosmic-ray (CR) Pevatrons, the study of the CR propagation, and the impact of the extragalactic background light on the spectra of the sources.
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    ABSTRACT: ASTRI is a Flagship Project financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, and led by INAF, the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics. The primary goal of the ASTRI project is the realization of an end-to-end prototype of a Small Size Telescope for the Cherenkov Telescope Array. The prototype, named ASTRI SST-2M, is based on a completely new double mirror optics design and will be equipped with a camera made of a matrix of SiPM detectors. Here we describe the ASTRI SST-2M camera concept: basic idea, detectors, electronics, current status and some results coming from experiments in lab.
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, the development of the dual mirror Small Size Telescopes (SST) for the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is reviewed. Up to 70 SST, with a primary mirror diameter of 4 m, will be produced and installed at the CTA southern site. These will allow investigation of the gamma-ray sky at the highest energies accessible to CTA, in the range from about 1 TeV to 300 TeV. The telescope presented in this contribution is characterized by two major innovations: the use of a dual mirror Schwarzschild-Couder configuration and of an innovative camera using as sensors either multi-anode photomultipliers (MAPM) or silicon photomultipliers (SiPM). The reduced plate-scale of the telescope, achieved with the dual-mirror optics, allows the camera to be compact (40 cm in diameter), and low-cost. The camera, which has about 2000 pixels of size 6x6 mm^2, covers a field of view of 10{\deg}. The dual mirror telescopes and their cameras are being developed by three consortia, ASTRI (Astrofisica con Specchi a Tecnologia Replicante Italiana, Italy/INAF), GATE (Gamma-ray Telescope Elements, France/Paris Observ.) and CHEC (Compact High Energy Camera, universities in UK, US and Japan) which are merging their efforts in order to finalize an end-to-end design that will be constructed for CTA. A number of prototype structures and cameras are being developed in order to investigate various alternative designs. In this contribution, these designs are presented, along with the technological solutions under study.
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    ABSTRACT: ASTRI (Astrofisica con Specchi a Tecnologia Replicante Italiana) is an Italian flagship project pursued by INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) strictly linked to the development of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA. Primary goal of the ASTRI program is the design and production of an end-to-end prototype of a Small Size Telescope for the CTA sub-array devoted to the highest gamma-ray energy region. The prototype, named ASTRI SST-2M, will be tested on field in Italy during 2014. This telescope will be the first Cherenkov telescope adopting the double reflection layout in a Schwarzschild-Couder configuration with a tessellated primary mirror and a monolithic secondary mirror. The collected light will be focused on a compact and light-weight camera based on silicon photo-multipliers covering a 9.6 deg full field of view. Detailed Monte Carlo simulations have been performed to estimate the performance of the planned telescope. The results regarding its energy threshold, sensitivity and angular resolution are shown and discussed.
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    ABSTRACT: The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will consist of an array of three types of telescopes covering a wide energy range, from tens of GeV up to more than 100 TeV. The high energy section (> 3 TeV) will be covered by the Small Size Telescopes (SST). ASTRI (Astrofisica con Specchi a Tecnologia Replicante Italiana) is a flagship project of the Italian Ministry of Research and Education led by INAF, aiming at the design and construction of a prototype of the Dual Mirror SST. In a second phase the ASTRI project foresees the installation of the first elements of the SST array at the CTA southern site, a mini-array of 5-7 telescopes. The optimization of the layout of this mini-array embedded in the SST array of the CTA Observatory has been the object of an intense simulation effort. In this work we present the expected mini-array performance in terms of energy threshold, angular and energy resolution and sensitivity.
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    ABSTRACT: UVSiPM is a light detector designed to measure the intensity of electromagnetic radiation in the 320-900 nm wavelength range. It has been developed in the framework of the ASTRI project whose main goal is the design and construction of an end-to-end Small Size class Telescope prototype for the Cherenkov Telescope Array. The UVSiPM instrument is composed by a multipixel Silicon Photo-Multiplier detector unit coupled to an electronic chain working in single photon counting mode with 10 nanosecond double pulse resolution, and by a disk emulator interface card for computer connection. The detector unit of UVSiPM is of the same kind as the ones forming the camera at the focal plane of the ASTRI prototype. Eventually, the UVSiPM instrument can be equipped with a collimator to regulate its angular aperture. UVSiPM, with its peculiar characteristics, will permit to perform several measurements both in lab and on field, allowing the absolute calibration of the ASTRI prototype.
    Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements 05/2013; s 239–240. DOI:10.1016/j.nuclphysbps.2013.05.040 · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design and realization of a prototype for the Small-Size class Telescopes of the Cherenkov Telescope Array is one of the cornerstones of the ASTRI project. The prototype will adopt a focal plane camera based on Silicon Photo-Multiplier sensors that coupled with a dual mirror optics configuration represents an innovative solution for the detection of Atmospheric Cherenkov light. These detectors can be read by the Extended Analogue Silicon Photo-Multiplier Integrated Read Out Chip (EASIROC) equipped with 32-channels. In this paper, we report some preliminary results on measurements aimed to evaluate EASIROC capability of autotriggering and measurements of the trigger time walk, jitter, DAC linearity and trigger efficiency vs the injected charge. Moreover, the dynamic range of the ASIC is also reported.
    Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements 05/2013; s 239–240. DOI:10.1016/j.nuclphysbps.2013.05.039 · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ASTRI is a flagship project of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, which aims to develop an end-to-end prototype of the CTA small-size telescope. The proposed design is characterized by a dual-mirror Schwarzschild-Couder configuration and a camera based on Silicon photo-multipliers, two challenging but innovative technological solutions which will be adopted for the first time on a Cherenkov telescope. Here we describe the current status of the project, the expected performance and the possibility to realize a mini-array composed by a few small-size telescopes, which shall be placed at the final CTA Southern Site.
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    ABSTRACT: The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a new observatory for very high-energy (VHE) gamma rays. CTA has ambitions science goals, for which it is necessary to achieve full-sky coverage, to improve the sensitivity by about an order of magnitude, to span about four decades of energy, from a few tens of GeV to above 100 TeV with enhanced angular and energy resolutions over existing VHE gamma-ray observatories. An international collaboration has formed with more than 1000 members from 27 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America. In 2010 the CTA Consortium completed a Design Study and started a three-year Preparatory Phase which leads to production readiness of CTA in 2014. In this paper we introduce the science goals and the concept of CTA, and provide an overview of the project.
    Astroparticle Physics 03/2013; 43:3-18. DOI:10.1016/j.astropartphys.2013.01.007 · 4.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the EUSO (Extreme Universe Space Observatory) experiment is to measure from space the fluorescent light produced by the interaction of Extreme Energy Cosmic Rays (EECRs) with the Earth atmosphere. Besides the fluorescent signal, a huge amount of Čerenkov photons is emitted in a narrow cone hitting the Earth surface, where it is partially diffused. The detection of this diffused signal, in a delayed coincidence with the fluorescent signal, allows the absolute positioning of the EECR track, while the knowledge of the diffusing properties of the surface gives an independent indication of the shower energy. Measuring simultaneously on ground the electromagnetic component, the direct Čerenkov light, and the diffused Čerenkov light over different surfaces, we aim to characterize the emitted signal as a function of the energy and the arrival direction of the Extensive Air Shower (EAS), and to evaluate its possible detection from space. This is implemented by the ULTRA (Uv Light Transmission and Reflection in the Atmosphere) experiment composed by a small EAS array and a UltraViolet (UV) telescope. The experimental setups used in the first runs at sea level and at 1970 m a.s.l. are described and the first preliminary results are presented.
    International Journal of Modern Physics A 01/2012; 20(29). DOI:10.1142/S0217751X05030466 · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: UVscope is a portable multi-pixels photon detector developed at IASF-Pa to support experimental activities in the high-energy astrophysics and cosmic rays field. The instrument, working in single photon counting mode, is designed to directly measure light flux in the wavelengths range 300–650nm. Thanks to its features and operational flexibility, the instrument can be used in a wide field of applications where the knowledge of the environmental luminosity is required, as in the characterization of sites for ground-based Cherenkov and fluorescence telescopes, and for cross-calibration of their cameras.The present version of UVscope is based on a Multi Anode Photo Multiplier Tube and it is completed by a motorized mount and a filter wheel which allow to make low-light measurements, at programmed pointing directions and at different filter wavelengths. In this paper, the instrument is firstly presented in all its components; then the procedures adopted for its absolute and relative calibration are detailed. The performance of UVscope is evaluated and, finally, current and planned scientific applications are described.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 12/2011; 659(1):569-578. DOI:10.1016/j.nima.2011.08.004 · 1.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy has had a major breakthrough with the impressive results obtained using systems of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy has a huge potential in astrophysics, particle physics and cosmology. CTA is an international initiative to build the next generation instrument, with a factor of 5–10 improvement in sensitivity in the 100 GeV–10 TeV range and the extension to energies well below 100 GeV and above 100 TeV. CTA will consist of two arrays (one in the north, one in the south) for full sky coverage and will be operated as open observatory. The design of CTA is based on currently available technology. This document reports on the status and presents the major design concepts of CTA
    Experimental Astronomy 12/2011; 32(3):193–316. DOI:10.1007/s10686-011-9247-0 · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    Conference Paper: ULTRA Experiment Results
    Challenges in Cosmic Ray Sciences for the 21st Century – from Earth to the International Space Station and behind; 01/2011
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    ABSTRACT: A strategy for European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) correlative measurements for Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) has been developed. These EARLINET correlative measurements started in June 2006 and are still in progress. Up to now, more than 4500 correlative files are available in the EARLINET database. Independent extinction and backscatter measurements carried out at high-performance EARLINET stations have been used for a quantitative comparison with CALIPSO level 1 data. Results demonstrate the good performance of CALIPSO and the absence of evident biases in the CALIPSO raw signals. The agreement is also good for the distribution of the differences for the attenuated backscatter at 532 nm ((CALIPSO-EARLINET)/EARLINET (%)), calculated in the 1-10 km altitude range, with a mean relative difference of 4.6%, a standard deviation of 50%, and a median value of 0.6%. A major Saharan dust outbreak lasting from 26 to 31 May 2008 has been used as a case study for showing first results in terms of comparison with CALIPSO level 2 data. A statistical analysis of dust properties, in terms of intensive optical properties (lidar ratios, Angstrom exponents, and color ratios), has been performed for this observational period. We obtained typical lidar ratios of the dust event of 49 ± 10 sr and 56 ± 7 sr at 355 and 532 nm, respectively. The extinction-related and backscatter-related Angstrom exponents were on the order of 0.15-0.17, which corresponds to respective color ratios of 0.91-0.95. This dust event has been used to show the methodology used for the investigation of spatial and temporal representativeness of measurements with polar-orbiting satellites.
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    ABSTRACT: At CNR-IMAA, an aerosol lidar system is operative since May 2000 in the framework of EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network), the first lidar network for tropospheric aerosol study on continental scale. High quality multi-wavelength measurements make this system a reference point for the validation of data products provided by CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations), the first satellite-borne lidar specifically designed for aerosol and cloud study. Since 14 June 2006, devoted measurements are performed at CNR-IMAA in coincidence of CALIPSO overpasses. For the first time, results on 1-year comparisons between ground-based multi-wavelength Raman lidar measurements and corresponding CALIPSO lidar Level 1 profiles are presented. A methodology for the comparison is presented and discussed into details. Cases with the detection of cirrus clouds in CALIPSO data are separately analysed for taking into account eventual multiple scattering effects. For cirrus cloud cases, few cases are available to draw any conclusions. For clear sky conditions, the comparison shows good performances of the CALIPSO on-board lidar: the mean relative difference between the ground-based and CALIPSO Level 1 measurements is always within its standard deviation at all altitudes, with a mean difference in the 3–8 km altitude range of (−2±12)%. At altitude ranges corresponding to the typical PBL height observed at CNR-IMAA, a mean underestimation of (−24±20)% is observed in CALIPSO data, probably due to the difference in the aerosol content at the location of PEARL and CALIPSO ground-track location. Finally, the mean differences are on average lower for the closest overpasses (at about 40 km), with an increment of the differences at all altitude ranges when the 80 km overpasses are considered.
    ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS 01/2009; 9(2). DOI:10.5194/acpd-9-8429-2009 · 5.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this work, we investigated on the spectroscopic performances of two pixellated CZT detectors coupled with a custom low noise and low power readout ASIC. The detectors (10 x 10 x 1 mm<sup>3</sup> and 10 x 10 x 2 mm<sup>3</sup> single crystals) consist of an array of 256 pixels with a geometric pitch of 0.5 mm. The ASIC, fabricated in 0.8 μm BiCMOS technology, is equipped with eight independent channels (preamplifier and shaper) characterized by a dynamic range from 10 keV to 100 keV, low power consumption (0.5 mW/channel) and low noise (150–500 electrons r.m.s.). The spectroscopic results point out the good energy resolution of both detectors at room temperature (5.8 % FWHM at 59.5 keV for the 1 mm thick detector; 5.5 % FWHM at 59.5 keV for the 2 mm thick detector) and low tailing, confirming the single charge carrier sensing properties of the CZT detectors equipped with a pixellated anode layout. Temperature measurements show optimum performances of the system (detector and electronics) at T = 10 °C and performance degradations at lower temperatures. The detectors and the ASIC, designed by our collaboration, represent two small focal plane detector prototypes for hard X-ray telescopes operating in the 10–100 keV energy range.
    Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, 2008. NSS '08. IEEE; 11/2008