Data Analysis

The goal of this work package is to provide trans-national access (TA) to X-ray (and gamma-ray) data analysis methods including use of data tools, archives and space instruments via tutorials and mentoring by experienced scientists at the delivery institutes. The primary aim is to widen opportunities for scientists across Europe to exploit both European-funded and international X-ray astronomy facilities and X-ray data archives in order to enhance high-energy astrophysics science across Europe. The activities will be particularly designed to assist relatively inexperienced users in smaller institutes, but will be tailored to the needs of scientists with a wide range of experience. The delivery institute will provide the users with: a hands-on tutorial in the most up-to-date methods in X-ray data analysis (imaging, time series, spectroscopy); specific data analysis methods tailored to the users own research project(s); assistance with using software packages specific to European and international X-ray missions; given guidance in the exploitation of data archives located at the host institutions and elsewhere, including multi-waveband analysis; and mentoring in how to make use of the software and X-ray facilities when the user returns home, including a point of contact at the delivery institute for follow-up discussions. Thus, a visit will be part of a process to enable science for the user rather than a single end point.

All visits are fully supported for travel and subsistence expenses.

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester (UK)

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester is one the world’s premier institutions in the field of X-ray astronomy with an involvement in space missions for over 50 years including ESA XMM-Newton satellite, the NASA Chandra satellite, the NASA/UK/Italy Swift satellite, the India/Canada/UK Astrosat satellite and the ESA BepiColombo mission. We are involved in the Einstein Probe mission (China/ESA) which will be launched during the AHEAD2020 period providing unique very wide-field X-ray data. We are also involved in the China/France SVOM mission and the ESA/China solar-physics SMILE mission, both of which will also come on-line during the funding period. The Department hosts the UK Swift data centre, hosts the LEDAS data archive for high- energy missions and several supercomputer facilities. All major astrophysics software packages are available on the central computer servers.
Services currently offered by the infrastructure: The Department hosts the largest high-energy astrophysics group in the UK encompassing hardware, software, observational astrophysics and theoretical astrophysics expertise. Science areas include gamma-ray bursts, tidal disruption events. active galactic nuclei, galaxy clusters, accretion onto neutron stars and white dwarfs and charge-exchange processes in planetary ionospheres. The Department has recently led the production of the largest X-ray source catalogues for XMM-Newton and Swift which include multi- wavelength cross-correlation data. This will provide an ideal environment for visiting scientists in the use of a wide variety of data analysis techniques across existing (XMM and Swift) and new (SVOM, Einstein probe and SMILE) facilities, including narrow and wide-field X-ray data, spectroscopy and timing. We have extensive experience of providing support to visiting users as we currently provide a tutorial system for use of the Swift satellite, which has taught over 100 users on

Contact: Paul O’Brien, paul.obrien at

SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research (NL)

SRON is the leading institute in Europe for the analysis of high-resolution X-ray spectra. The institute is Principal Investigator on the two grating instruments currently operational in the soft X-ray band (the ESA mission XMM-Newton and the NASA mission Chandra). For the analysis of the collected spectra, SRON developed dedicated analysis software, which allows analyzing high-resolution spectra in a self-consistent way based on atomic transition probabilities (SPEX,, SRON is leading the European contribution to the Japanese satellite XRISM. This mission, while having its own unique science capability, can also be considered as a pathfinder for the X-ray Integral Field Unit on ATHENA.
Services offered by the infrastructure:
SRON combines detailed knowledge about the instrument performance and the physical interpretation of the collected data, w.p.r.t. high spectral X-ray resolution. The SRON science is strongly linked to this expertise and includes clusters of galaxies (the physical properties of the hot gas, including the thermo-dynamical conditions), properties of matter close to AGNs and the relevant feedback, and properties of interstellar dust, which can be uniquely probed in X-rays as well. This expertise, together with the dedicated software to analyze high-resolution spectra are unique in the world. As part of this TNA, SRON will provide its facilities including expert knowledge for scientists in Europe on high-resolution data such as that provided by the forthcoming XRISM mission.

Contact: Jelle de Plaa, at

Department of Astronomy, University of Geneva (Switzerland)

The Department of Astronomy of the University of Geneva has a long experience in space missions, in particular with high-energy astrophysics missions, such as Integral. It further participates in activities related to the ESA L-class ATHENA mission, and other future space projects (e.g., XRISM, THESEUS, SPICA, eXTP, LISA, K-EUSO, etc). Scientific activities in high-energy astrophysics are focused around active galactic nuclei, X-ray binaries, galaxy clusters, and stars. The Department of Astronomy participated in the ASTRO-H/HITOMI mission, and was hosting the HITOMI European Science Support Center, and is now in the XRISM mission, expected to be launched in 2021 (in the midst of the period covered by this project).
Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
Through this TNA, the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre of the Department of Astronomy (ISDC offers direct help to visitors in their analyses of INTEGRAL data, including the new On-line Data Analysis, a new service allowing to perform remote analysis. The involvement of the Department of Astronomy in XRISM should be of strong interest to users desiring to obtain help in high-resolution spectroscopic data analysis. Finally, scientists at the Department of Astronomy have a broad knowledge of the different X-ray and gamma-ray observatories offered to the world and are capable to provide data analysis help also for Chandra, XMM-Newton, Swift, POLAR, Fermi.

Contact: Marc Audard, marc.mudard at

National Institute for Astrophysics, INAF (Italy)

INAF is the National Institute for research in astronomy in Italy. It coordinates and directly finances the astronomical research for the whole non-university based community, therefore more than 90% of the researchers in the field belong to the INAF (784 scientists and technical staff with a permanent position). The Italian national community is one of the world’s premier in the field of High Energy Astrophysics: it has flown two national space  missions,  BeppoSax and AGILE, it  has  been deeply involved and/or  has  procured hardware for the NASA Chandra, ESA XMM-Newton, ESA-Integral, NASA Swift and NASA Fermi space observatories, it has key roles in the scientific operation of the NASA NuStar mission, as well as in the ESA ATHENA L2 mission. INAF houses, mostly in the research structures at Milan, Bologna, Rome and Palermo, over 200 permanent and non-permanent scientists totally or partly dedicated to high energy astrophysics and space technology. All those research structures have adequate computer resources and often medium-size HPC facilities for more intensive computing needs. All major astrophysics software packages are available on the computer servers. The many research and space project scientists at academic, postdoctoral, postgraduate and technical levels in the installations listed below provide the capability to meet the requirements for this data analysis work package and long tradition of hosting visiting scientists and provide training.
Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
INAF hosts one of the largest high-energy astrophysics group in Europe and world-wide encompassing hardware, software, observational astrophysics and theoretical astrophysics expertise. Examples of current astrophysics research include the areas of gamma-ray bursts, active galactic nuclei, galaxy clusters, accretion onto neutron stars and white dwarfs, supernova remnants, cosmic ray acceleration, young stellar objects, star forming regions. The INAF involved research structures host numerous visiting scientists from other countries. These projects involve in total many hundreds of scientists.
Installation 1, Bologna: OAS (in collaboration with Bologna University) (task coordinator: Massimo Cappi)
The Bologna high-energy group current research activity includes and offers expertise on extra-galactic X-ray and multi-wavelength surveys, Active Galactic Nuclei, galaxy clusters, physics of accretion and ejection onto super-massive black holes, and background radiation. The team has a leading role in the scientific exploitation of high-energy data from previous and current X-ray missions with particular regard to survey programs and source catalogues. The Bologna GEant4 Multi-Mission Simulator (BoGEMMS) provides a tool to perform user-friendly GEant4 simulations of detectors/satellites backgrounds to any imprinting radiation/particle field, for variable and flexible geometries.
Installation 2, Rome: OAR (task coordinator: Luca Zappacosta)
The team at INAF-OAR offers strong expertise in different aspects of high energy astrophysics, by means of current high energy missions (i.e. XMM-Newton, Chandra, Swift, NuSTAR, NICER). In particular, it involves the study of the following topics: Physics of Compact object: Timing and Spectroscopy of accreting compact objects); Physics of Active Galactic Nuclei: emission, absorption and reprocessing  mechanisms in nuclear regions, AGN-driven winds; Cosmology: Extragalactic surveys, AGN cosmological evolution, high-redshift quasars and Warm-Hot Circum-galactic/Intergalactic Medium; This extensive range of research activity within our team also includes sophisticated and high-level skills such as X-ray high-resolution spectroscopy, phase-coherent timing, phase and time-resolved spectroscopy.
Installation 3, Palermo: OAPA (Task coordinator: Antonio Maggio)
The Palermo high-energy group current research activity includes galactic X-ray and multi-wavelength surveys in  particular Star Forming Regions, physics of accretion and ejection onto pre-main sequence stars, star-planet magnetic interactions, physics of supernovae remnants and cosmic ray acceleration. The scientists of the Palermo node provided major contributions to several large/key Chandra and XMM-Newton programs on stellar observation and SNRs, developing novel techniques for the analysis of X-ray images of extended sources.
Installation 4, ROME: IAPS (Task coordinator: Mariateresa Fiocchi)
The team at INAF-IAPS have strong expertise in the experiments for high-energy astrophysics, in the data analysis and theoretical interpretation studies from past to future missions, including BeppoSAX, INTEGRAL, Agile. The research is focussed on the investigation of galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, including multi-frequencies follow-up of the new transients, such as GRBs, gravitational waves, neutrinos and fast radio bursts,  INTEGRAL surveys of the galactic plane and study of Galactic compact sources and AGN, follow-up programs with Swift, XMM-Newton, CHANDRA and NuSTAR. Guidance and access to INTEGRAL data archive with software and tutorials will be in particular available. The IAPS team has developed  a strong expertise in GEANT4 simulations for space based instrumentations and offers training on the use of the Geant4 toolkit, starting from the configuration setup (like geometry, physics list and other parameters of the input model) to the organisation of the output data and its analysis.

Institute of Astronomy Astrophysics, Space Applications & Remote Sensing (IAASARS), National Observatory of Athens

IAASARS is a major Space Sciences Centre in South Eastern Europe. The Institute employs over 20 permanent members of staff and an equal number of postdoctoral research assistants.. Regarding X-ray Astronomy the Institute has developed a strong expertise in bulk data analysis from X-ray surveys: automatic spectral extraction of XMM sources, automatic spectral fitting packages. In particular, the Institute runs the spectral fit database of the 3XMM sources (an ESA Prodex project) and has developed novel Bayesian analysis source detection techniques for surveys and identification of counterparts of X-ray sources. The Institute hosts a 40-core cluster computer system.
Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
Based on the above expertise, the node in Athens will Support for data reduction and analysis methods for XMM-Newton, Chandra, Nustar, especially in the fields of active galactic nuclei, and galaxies and more specialised support on X-ray surveys analysis and in particular cross-correlation techniques between X-ray and optical data, source detection techniques  and automated spectral extraction for XMM and Chandra observations.

Contact: Athanassios Akylas, aakylas at

AIM/Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay (France)

The astrophysics department at Saclay, which is situated 30 km south of Paris, is a major space astrophysics laboratory (about 70 scientists, as many engineers and as many postdocs or students). With respect to X-rays, our institute contributed to EPIC MOS cameras on XMM Newton and participates in the SSC consortium. The major astrophysics software packages are available on the central computer servers. The institute also has important contributions to the Athena, Integral, Fermi, Herschel, Planck, SVOM, JWST and Euclid missions, as well as the HESS and CTA TeV instruments.
Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
The High-Energy group of the laboratory is involved in several fields of X-ray astronomy: black-hole X-ray binaries, the Galactic centre, magnetars and gamma-ray bursts, supernova remnants, clusters of galaxies, cosmological surveys. A particular strength of the group is its long experience with extended sources. Those require specific analysis methods (for background subtraction, mosaicking, spectro-imaging). The group offers expertise in multi-wavelength coverage from keV to TeV, and in particular data from Fermi, SVOM and HESS.

Contact: Jean Ballet, jean.ballet at

Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara

The High-energy astrophysics (HEA) group at the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences of University of Ferrara has a long-term experience in instruments for high-energy astrophysics missions (BeppoSAX, INTEGRAL/JEM-X, HXMT, Theseus) as well as in the exploitation of X-ray/Gamma-ray data for scientific problems ranging from galactic to extra-galactic astrophysics and cosmology. The group at UniFE has a long tradition of training young scientists.
Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
Visiting scientists will be given full support on the methodologies to access data archives, tutorials on data reduction pipelines, and data analysis tools. Two recently purchased high-performance computers are available to support this activity. Specifically, access to Swift archive and other satellites, focusing on Gamma-ray bursts,  Tidal Disruption Events and electro-magnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources. An additional activity deals with the multi-wavelength, multi-observatory identification and characterisation of sources in the deepest X-ray surveys with the NASA Chandra satellite, that members of the UniFE group have initiated 20 years ago.

Contact: Piero Rosati, piero.rosati1 at

N. Copernicus Astronomical Centre Polish Academy of Science (CAMK PAN)

CAMK PAN is a leading astronomical institute in Poland. The main subjects of research are: stellar astrophysics, binary systems, circumstellar matter, dense matter and neutron stars, black holes, accretion processes, structure and evolution of active galaxies, cosmology, extrasolar planets. There are currently 34 faculty members, 18 post-docs, and 39 PhD students. The computer infrastructure includes cluster with 306 cores.
Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
Astronomers from the CAMK PAN offer expertize in high-energy observational projects such as: H.E.S.S., CTA, INTEGRAL, Fermi. They will provide training in the use of high-energy data, including and links to other waveband data such as from GAIA.

Contact: Agata Rozanska, agata at