CTA - Data Management and Computing

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the first open and proposal driven observatory for very high-energy gamma rays. While this is the standard in most fields of astronomy, the large data sets produced by ground-based Cherenkov telescopes and the scarcity of gamma rays among the vast majority of cosmic ray background events so far made it too difficult for the experiments to provide this service to the astronomical community.

The data rate during a CTA measurement at the larger array on the southern site will amount to 6 gigabyte (GB)/s, while the northern array will take data with a rate of about 4 GB/s. The total amount of raw data produced per year will sum up to 4 Petabytes (PB). The acquisition, processing and archiving of these large quantities of data, and the delivery of data products used in scientific analyses, are the task of the CTA Data Management group. The interpretation of the CTA data requires additional computing intensive simulations using detailed models of the CTA telescopes, adding similar requirements on storage and processing as the data taking process.

DESY provides CTA with large-scale scientific computing facilities, GRID computing, and contributes to the software development. The CTA group at DESY is also coordinating the development of the CTA Monte Carlo simulation pipeline.