The current standards for estimating the background contribution in IACT data analysis are the ring background model and the reflected region methods. However, these two techniques are poorly suited for analyses of sources with extensions comparable to the detector’s field of view (greater than ~1°). Nearby pulsar wind nebulae, supernova remnants interacting with molecular clouds, and dark matter signatures from galaxy clusters are just a few potentially highly extended source classes. A three dimensional maximum likelihood analysis is in development that seeks to resolve this issue for data from the VERITAS telescopes. The technique incorporates relevant instrument response functions to model the distribution of detected gamma-ray like events in two spatial dimensions. Additionally, we incorporate a third dimension based on a gamma-hadron discriminating parameter. The inclusion of this third dimension significantly improves the sensitivity of the technique to highly extended sources. We will present this promising technique as well as systematic studies demonstrating its potential for revealing sources of large extent in VERITAS data.
|Registration number following "ICRC2015-I/"||638|