Technical note Open Access

Data formats for gamma-ray astronomy - version 0.2

Deil, Christoph; Wood, Matthew; Hassan, Tarek; Boisson, Catherine; Contreras, Jose Luis; Knödlseder, Jürgen; Khelifi, Bruno; King, Johannes; Mohrmann, Lars

The data formats for gamma-ray astronomy contain high-level data format specifications, ranging from event lists and instrument response formats to maps, spectra and lightcurves. This version 0.2 describes the formats currently in use and under development by various instruments (e.g. CTA, HESS, MAGIC, VERITAS, FACT, Fermi-LAT) and science tools (e.g. Gammapy and Gammalib). Please note that this is not a stable and agreed standard yet, it is incomplete and work in progress. We welcome feedback and contributions!

The data formats for gamma-ray astronomy are also available at https://gamma-astro-data-formats.readthedocs.io/ and are written and discussed at https://github.com/open-gamma-ray-astro/gamma-astro-data-formats .

The formats described in this v0.2 are mostly what was used for the 2017 first CTA data challenge, and what will be used for the upcoming H.E.S.S. data release and the joint Crab paper. We expect that the format will change significantly over the next year or two as the CTA formats are being defined.
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