GammaLib and ctools: A software framework for the analysis of astronomical gamma-ray data

J. Knödlseder, M. Mayer, C. Deil, J. B. Cayrou, E. Owen, N. Kelley-Hoskins, C. C. Lu, R. Buehler, F. Forest, T. Louge, H. Siejkowski, K. Kosack, L. Gerard, A. Schulz, P. Martin, S. Ohm, T. Hassan, S. Brau-Nogué

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47 Citations (Scopus)


© ESO, 2016. The field of gamma-ray astronomy has seen important progress during the last decade, yet to date no common software framework has been developed for the scientific analysis of gamma-ray telescope data. We propose to fill this gap by means of the GammaLib software, a generic library that we have developed to support the analysis of gamma-ray event data. GammaLib was written in C++ and all functionality is available in Python through an extension module. Based on this framework we have developed the ctools software package, a suite of software tools that enables flexible workflows to be built for the analysis of Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescope event data. The ctools are inspired by science analysis software available for existing high-energy astronomy instruments, and they follow the modular ftools model developed by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center. The ctools were written in Python and C++, and can be either used from the command line via shell scripts or directly from Python. In this paper we present the GammaLib and ctools software versions 1.0 that were released at the end of 2015. GammaLib and ctools are ready for the science analysis of Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescope event data, and also support the analysis of Fermi-LAT data and the exploitation of the COMPTEL legacy data archive. We propose using ctools as the science tools software for the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA1
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • Methods: data analysis
  • Virtual observatory tools


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