Standardisation of Data Formats in Gamma-ray astronomy
The operation of the next-generation of gamma-ray telescopes as observatories poses gamma-ray astronomers the issue of opening their data and software to a wider community.
A first attempt at defining a common scheme for high-level gamma-ray astronomical data has been initiated by members of different Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACT) experiments with the "Data formats for gamma-ray astronomy" forum (https://gamma-astro-data-formats.readthedocs.io/en/latest/).
The forum, consisting of a series of documentation pages hosted on git, defines specifications to reduce high-level gamma-ray data to lists of candidate photons and instrument response function, stored in FITS files.
Open-source softwares for gamma-ray analyses have recently developed to support this format and, as a result, a series of publications relying on standardised datasets and software have been recently issued, among them:
- The first public release of H.E.S.S. data (https://arxiv.org/abs/1810.04516);
- the first reproducible multi-instrument analysis of the Crab Nebula (https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.06621);
- an analysis of the H.E.S.S. data with the open-source software ctools (https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.09456);
- a validation of open-source gamma-ray analysis software employing the same dataset (https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.08088).
This talk will provide a discussion on the standardisation effort and an overview of the projects that have already employed it.