Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physics (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Physics

Advisor 1

Petra Huentemeyer

Committee Member 1

Brian Fick

Committee Member 2

David Nitz


The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Observatory is a gamma-ray observatory sensitive to gamma rays from 100 GeV to 100 TeV with an instantaneous field of view of ~2 sr. It is located on the Sierra Negra plateau in Mexico at an elevation of 4,100 m and began full operation in March 2015. The purpose of the detector is to study relativistic particles that are produced by interstellar and intergalactic objects such as: pulsars, supernova remnants, molecular clouds, black holes and more. To achieve optimal angular resolution, energy reconstruction and cosmic ray background suppression for the extensive air showers detected by HAWC, good timing and charge calibration are crucial, as well as optimization of quality cuts on background suppression variables. Additions to the HAWC timing calibration, in particular automating the calibration quality checks and a new method for background suppression using a multivariate analysis are presented in this thesis.