Proc. SPIE. 10707, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy V
KEYWORDS: Telescopes, Cameras, Calibration, Data acquisition, Data archive systems, Monte Carlo methods, Gamma radiation, Prototyping, Atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes, Device simulation, Data analysis
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a worldwide project aimed at building the next-generation groundbased gamma-ray observatory. CTA will be composed of two arrays of telescopes of different sizes, one each in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, to achieve full-sky coverage and a ten-fold improvement in sensitivity with respect to the present-generation facilities. Within the CTA project, the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) is developing an end-to-end prototype of one of the CTA Small-Size Telescope’s designs with a dual-mirror (SST-2M) Schwarzschild-Couder optics design. The prototype, named ASTRI SST-2M, is located at the INAF “M.C. Fracastoro” observing station in Serra La Nave (Mt. Etna, Sicily) and has started its verification and performance validation phase in fall 2017. A mini-array of (at least) nine ASTRI telescopes has been proposed to be deployed at the CTA southern site, during the pre-production phase, by means of a collaborative effort carried out by institutes from Italy, Brazil, and South Africa. The CTA ASTRI team has developed a complete end-to-end software package for the reduction, up to the final scientific products, of raw data acquired with ASTRI telescopes with the aim of actively contributing to the global ongoing activities for the official data handling system of the CTA observatory. The group is also undertaking a massive production of Monte Carlo simulation data using the same software chain adopted by the CTA Consortium. Both activities are also carried out in the framework of the European H2020-ASTERICS (Astronomy ESFRI and Research Infrastructure Cluster) project. In this work, we present the main components of the ASTRI data reduction software package and report the status of its development. Preliminary results on the validation of both data reduction and telescope simulation chains achieved with real data taken by the prototype and simulations are also discussed.
XIPE, the X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer, is a mission dedicated to X-ray Astronomy. At the time of
writing XIPE is in a competitive phase A as fourth medium size mission of ESA (M4). It promises to reopen the
polarimetry window in high energy Astrophysics after more than 4 decades thanks to a detector that efficiently
exploits the photoelectric effect and to X-ray optics with large effective area. XIPE uniqueness is time-spectrally-spatially-
resolved X-ray polarimetry as a breakthrough in high energy astrophysics and fundamental physics.
Indeed the payload consists of three Gas Pixel Detectors at the focus of three X-ray optics with a total effective
area larger than one XMM mirror but with a low weight. The payload is compatible with the fairing of the Vega
launcher. XIPE is designed as an observatory for X-ray astronomers with 75 % of the time dedicated to a Guest
Observer competitive program and it is organized as a consortium across Europe with main contributions from
Italy, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Sweden.
Today the scientific community is facing an increasing complexity of the scientific projects, from both a technological and a management point of view. The reason for this is in the advance of science itself, where new experiments with unprecedented levels of accuracy, precision and coverage (time and spatial) are realised. Astronomy is one of the fields of the physical sciences where a strong interaction between the scientists, the instrument and software developers is necessary to achieve the goals of any Big Science Project. The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the largest ground-based very high-energy gamma-ray observatory of the next decades. To achieve the full potential of the CTA Observatory, the system must be put into place to enable users to operate the telescopes productively. The software will cover all stages of the CTA system, from the preparation of the observing proposals to the final data reduction, and must also fit into the overall system. Scientists, engineers, operators and others will use the system to operate the Observatory, hence they should be involved in the design process from the beginning. We have organised a workgroup and a workflow for the definition of the CTA Top Level Use Cases in the context of the Requirement Management activities of the CTA Observatory. Scientists, instrument and software developers are collaborating and sharing information to provide a common and general understanding of the Observatory from a functional point of view. Scientists that will use the CTA Observatory will provide mainly Science Driven Use Cases, whereas software engineers will subsequently provide more detailed Use Cases, comments and feedbacks. The main purposes are to define observing modes and strategies, and to provide a framework for the flow down of the Use Cases and requirements to check missing requirements and the already developed Use-Case models at CTA sub-system level. Use Cases will also provide the basis for the definition of the Acceptance Test Plan for the validation of the overall CTA system. In this contribution we present the organisation and the workflow of the Top Level Use Cases workgroup.
The Large Observatory For x-ray Timing (LOFT) is a mission concept which was proposed to ESA as M3 and M4 candidate in the framework of the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program. Thanks to the unprecedented combination of effective area and spectral resolution of its main instrument and the uniquely large field of view of its wide field monitor, LOFT will be able to study the behaviour of matter in extreme conditions such as the strong gravitational field in the innermost regions close to black holes and neutron stars and the supra-nuclear densities in the interiors of neutron stars. The science payload is based on a Large Area Detector (LAD, >8m2 effective area, 2-30 keV, 240 eV spectral resolution, 1 degree collimated field of view) and a Wide Field Monitor (WFM, 2-50 keV, 4 steradian field of view, 1 arcmin source location accuracy, 300 eV spectral resolution). The WFM is equipped with an on-board system for bright events (e.g., GRB) localization. The trigger time and position of these events are broadcast to the ground within 30 s from discovery. In this paper we present the current technical and programmatic status of the mission.