Largescale data processing and mass production of cosmic-ray background simulations for H.E.S.S.


Prof. Dr. Christopher van Eldik, Dr. Andreas Specovius
Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics (ECAP)
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Project Overview

The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) is an astronomical facility consisting of five large telescopes devoted to the observation of the high­energy universe. Its main science drivers are the study of the most violent phenomena in the cosmos such as the astrophysical processes close to the central black holes of active cores of galaxies, particle acceleration to ultrarelativistic energies in the remnants of stellar explosions, the origin of cosmic rays, and the search for dark matter. To this end, H.E.S.S. observes the gamma­ray sky at photon energies in the range of 100 GeV to 100 TeV, i.e. at about 12 orders of magnitude larger energies than photons visible to the human eye. H.E.S.S. is located in Namibia and is operated by an international collaboration of about 200 scientists from 13 countries. For more than 15 years, H.E.S.S. is the world­leading instrument in very­high­energy gamma­ray astrophysics and will continue taking data at least up to the end of 2024. The Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics is the largest university center participating in the operation of H.E.S.S. and the exploitation of its data. Scientists at ECAP are co­responsible for providing calibrated data and respective instrument response functions in the open GADF data format to the H.E.S.S. collaboration for science exploitation. They are in particular responsible for providing and further developing a complex background estimation model which is key to the data analysis. For these tasks, significant computing and storage resources at RRZE have been used in the past.

For data calibration and reconstruction, a custom­made data processing pipeline (HAP, the H.E.S.S. analysis pipeline) has been designed, commissioned, and validated since 2004. We propose to adapt the pipeline such that it can be run inside of SINGULARITY containers. This will enable us to use the software on the current generation HPC systems, and in particular on the HPC systems of RRZE.