ctools is a software package developed for the scientific analysis of Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) data. Analysis of data from existing Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescopes (such as H.E.S.S., MAGIC or VERITAS) is also supported, provided that the data and response functions are available in the format defined for CTA.

ctools comprises a set of ftools-like binary executables with a command-line interface allowing for interactive step-wise data analysis. ctools includes also a Python module allowing to control all executables. Creation of shell or Python scripts and pipelines is supported. ctools provides cscripts, which are Python scripts complementing the binary executables. Extensions of the ctools package by user defined binary executables or Python scripts is supported.

ctools are based on GammaLib, a versatile toolbox for the high-level analysis of astronomical gamma-ray data. Besides CTA, GammaLib supports also the analysis of Fermi/LAT and COMPTEL data, and extensions to support further gamma-ray instruments are planned. An interface to virtual observatory ressources is also in preparation. By making use of the GammaLib multi-instrument capabilities, ctools supports the joint analysis of CTA (or any IACT providing data in the CTA format), Fermi/LAT and COMPTEL data.

ctools are developed by a team of enthousiastic gamma-ray astronomers with support from engineers. We regularily organise coding sprints where key developers but also newcomers meet to discuss the developments and next steps, and advance with the coding of the software.

Acknowledging or citing ctools

If you use ctools for work/research presented in a publication we ask you to include the formal reference

J. Knoedlseder, 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, D. Sanchez, S. Ohm, T. Hassan, and S. Brau-Nogue, 2016, A&A, 593, A1 (paper)

in your paper and that you add the following acknowledgment:

This research made use of ctools, a community-developed analysis package for Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescope data. ctools is based on GammaLib, a community-developed toolbox for the high-level analysis of astronomical gamma-ray data.

If you wish, you can also include a link to http://cta.irap.omp.eu/ctools/ (if the journal allows this) in addition to the above text, as well as the identifier of the code in the Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL): ascl:1601.005.

If you are giving a presentation or talk featuring work/research that makes use of ctools, we suggest using this logo on your title slide:


And to see who published an article using ctools you may check the following link.


ctools is free software distributed under the GNU GPL license version 3.