The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is planned as the first ground-based gamma-ray observatory open to the worldwide physics community. The CTA Observatory (CTAO) will consist of arrays of up to 100 telescopes at two sites, one in the Northern and one in the Southern hemisphere, as well as complex and distributed software systems for an efficient operation of the arrays and for the management and scientific exploitation of the CTA data. One of the challenges in the design of such a large installation is to ensure that all the systems that compose the CTAO have well-defined scope and identified interfaces, allowing it to work reliably as a seamless whole. In this contribution, we provide an overview on a methodology for a model-based architecture approach, tailored to the CTA needs, with the main goals to (i) capture the stakeholder interactions with the CTAO, (ii) capture the processes and activities that will be required to successfully operate the CTAO and meet stakeholder expectations, including science operations and maintenance, (iii) agree on a functional decomposition of the CTAO into (sub-)systems and an allocation of the functionality to the (sub-)systems to assign responsibilities and identify interfaces. To accomplish this, we have developed an architecture approach based on process-based system scoping and using a notation based on the SysML and UML formalisms. The different views of the architecture model are presented, each focusing on different aspects of the CTAO. These views contain, among others, stakeholders and project objectives, activity diagrams for describing the CTAO processes, the context and structure of the CTAO system and sub-systems, and their relationships. In this contribution, we will focus on the methodology with a few selected examples.
Today the scientific community is facing an increasing complexity of the scientific projects, from both a technological and a management point of view. The reason for this is in the advance of science itself, where new experiments with unprecedented levels of accuracy, precision and coverage (time and spatial) are realised. Astronomy is one of the fields of the physical sciences where a strong interaction between the scientists, the instrument and software developers is necessary to achieve the goals of any Big Science Project. The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be the largest ground-based very high-energy gamma-ray observatory of the next decades. To achieve the full potential of the CTA Observatory, the system must be put into place to enable users to operate the telescopes productively. The software will cover all stages of the CTA system, from the preparation of the observing proposals to the final data reduction, and must also fit into the overall system. Scientists, engineers, operators and others will use the system to operate the Observatory, hence they should be involved in the design process from the beginning. We have organised a workgroup and a workflow for the definition of the CTA Top Level Use Cases in the context of the Requirement Management activities of the CTA Observatory. Scientists, instrument and software developers are collaborating and sharing information to provide a common and general understanding of the Observatory from a functional point of view. Scientists that will use the CTA Observatory will provide mainly Science Driven Use Cases, whereas software engineers will subsequently provide more detailed Use Cases, comments and feedbacks. The main purposes are to define observing modes and strategies, and to provide a framework for the flow down of the Use Cases and requirements to check missing requirements and the already developed Use-Case models at CTA sub-system level. Use Cases will also provide the basis for the definition of the Acceptance Test Plan for the validation of the overall CTA system. In this contribution we present the organisation and the workflow of the Top Level Use Cases workgroup.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) observatory will be one of the biggest ground-based very-high-energy (VHE) γ-
ray observatory. CTA will achieve a factor of 10 improvement in sensitivity from some tens of GeV to beyond 100 TeV
with respect to existing telescopes.
The CTA observatory will be capable of issuing alerts on variable and transient sources to maximize the scientific return.
To capture these phenomena during their evolution and for effective communication to the astrophysical community,
speed is crucial. This requires a system with a reliable automated trigger that can issue alerts immediately upon detection
of γ-ray flares. This will be accomplished by means of a Real-Time Analysis (RTA) pipeline, a key system of the CTA
observatory. The latency and sensitivity requirements of the alarm system impose a challenge because of the anticipated
large data rate, between 0.5 and 8 GB/s. As a consequence, substantial efforts toward the optimization of highthroughput
computing service are envisioned.
For these reasons our working group has started the development of a prototype of the Real-Time Analysis pipeline. The
main goals of this prototype are to test: (i) a set of frameworks and design patterns useful for the inter-process
communication between software processes running on memory; (ii) the sustainability of the foreseen CTA data rate in
terms of data throughput with different hardware (e.g. accelerators) and software configurations, (iii) the reuse of nonreal-
time algorithms or how much we need to simplify algorithms to be compliant with CTA requirements, (iv) interface
issues between the different CTA systems. In this work we focus on goals (i) and (ii).