Standardisation of Data Formats in Gamma-ray astronomy
2020-11-11, 08:00–09:30, Times in UTC

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 (
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 (;
- the first reproducible multi-instrument analysis of the Crab Nebula (;
- an analysis of the H.E.S.S. data with the open-source software ctools (;
- a validation of open-source gamma-ray analysis software employing the same dataset (

This talk will provide a discussion on the standardisation effort and an overview of the projects that have already employed it.

Theme – Data Processing Pipelines and Science-Ready Data, Data Interoperability, Open Source Software and Community Development in Astronomy