Dr. Karsten Berger (Bartol Research Institute at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Delaware, USA)
Exploring the Extreme Universe with VERITAS
VERITAS is an array of four Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Southern Arizona, covering the energy range from ~100 GeV to ~30 TeV. Full four-telescope operations began in Spring 2007, and in Summer 2009 the first telescope was relocated within the array to improve the sensitivity. A major hardware upgrade was completed in Summer 2012 to the camera and trigger in each telescope, lowering the energy threshold. Here we present the performance of VERITAS, determined with instrument response functions from simulations, which utilize long-term calibration measurements. Results are shown from Crab Nebula observations, validating the performance. We will discuss recent scientific discoveries obtained with the upgraded array and address areas of possible future collaborations between the northern hemisphere Cherenkov telescopes. Finally, we will emphasize the VERITAS long term observing plan, which will dominate the observations in the next 5 years until 2019.