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CAEN-EIE awarded contract to provide 11 ASTRI Mini-Array Cherenkov cameras

The kick off meeting among INAF (Istituto Nazionale di AstroFisica) and the CAEN-EIE Consortium, involving CAEN SpA, EIE GROUP srl and other qualified companies, took place in Palermo on 13 July 2021 for the supply of 9+2 Cherenkov cameras to be installed on the 9 ASTRI Mini-Array telescopes in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). The two additional cameras will be used for test and replacement purposes.

For more information about the ASTRI Mini-Array, visit the reference page http://www.astri.inaf.it. A dedicated video, realized and published by Media INAF on the 16th July, 2121, is now available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ih-dT0b5FO4.

Figure 1 – Kick off Meeting – Credits: Media INAF
Figure 2 – ASTRI Telescope located @ Serra la Nave, Catania, Italy – Credits: ASTRI/INAF/EIE

The Cherenkov camera is the heart of the telescope and thanks to the dual-mirror design ASTRI telescopes has a very small footprint (just 60 cm in diameter) and is based on innovative electronics and electro- mechanical systems.
The architecture of the Cherenkov cameras will be realized on the basis of the prototype camera built by INAF, which mounted on the ASTRI-Horn Prototype successfully detected Cherenkov signals[1] [2].

Each camera, whose detection plane is curved for technical requirements, will mount 37 SiPM matrix of 8×8 pixels each with a side of about 7 mm. A total of eleven cameras will be built for the Astri / Mini-array project, one of which for engineering and qualification activities and one for reserve. SiPM sensors represent the latest generation of light detection systems. The high efficiency of photo-detection and a large collection area make them very efficient for the detection of gamma photons emitted by celestial sources.


ASTRI was born as a MIUR flagship project aimed at developing the next generation of IACT telescopes (Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope Imaging) for astronomy in gamma rays from the ground. The ASTRI-Horn prototype installed on the slope of the Etna volcano on the astronomical site operated by INAF Catania represents the first telescope for Cherenkov astronomy that has adopted the optical configuration of the dual- mirror Schwarzschild-Couder type. Now the ASTRI collaboration is implementing an array of 9 telescopes, similar to ASTRI-Horn, at the astronomical site of the Observatorio del Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands to observe with high sensitivity and unprecedented angular resolution the gamma-ray Universe in the 1-100 TeV spectral band. The ASTRI Collaboration, led by INAF, includes various Italian Universities and INFN. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Fundación Galileo Galilei (FGG), the University of São Paulo/FAPESP in Brazil and the North West University of South Africa are strategc partners of the collaboration.