Science with MACE: Data Analysis and Interpretation

Program for workshop 4     List of Participants for workshop 4


MACE (Major Atmospheric Cherenkov Experiment) is a high energy gamma-ray telescope located at Hanle (32.8°  N, 78.9° E, 4270m above sea level) in the UT of Ladakh. Equipped with a 21m diameter quasiparabolic light collector and 1088-pixel photomultiplier tubes based imaging camera at the focal plane, the telescope offers an opportunity to explore the gamma-ray sky in the energy range above 20 GeV with high sensitivity. It also has the distinction of being the largest gamma-ray telescope in Asia and a unique observatory in the country for high energy astrophysics research. On the world map, MACE belongs to the class of extremely large telescopes such as MAGIC-I, LST-I and HESS-II and also appropriately fills the longitudinal gap among them. Because of its lower energy threshold, the MACE telescope offers an excellent energy overlap with the space-based Fermi-Large Area Telescope and therefore it is believed to be very useful in understanding the GeV-TeV gamma-ray sky. Apart from exploring the physical processes involved in the non-thermal high energy emission, MACE observations would play an important role in probing the propagation effects of the gamma-ray photons over cosmological distances and nature of weakly interacting massive particles as plausible dark matter candidate. Thus, an effective use of MACE data by a wide user community having expertise in different fields of astrophysics is inevitable. Therefore, it is proposed to organize a one-day workshop on analysis and interpretation of the preliminary science data collected using the MACE telescope observations.

Motivation and Agenda

The MACE telescope has recently been commissioned at the Hanle site after the rigorous engineering trial runs of more than 350 hours followed by the successful first light on the nights of April 1 & 3, 2021 from the standard candle Crab Nebula. After the initial optimization of various operating parameters and successive detections of Crab Nebula at several occasions, the telescope is now deployed for regular science observations. A large data volume of ~50GB per hour is generated from the MACE observations. A dedicated software package called MAP (MACE data Analysis Package) has been developed in-house in C++ and Python utilizing ROOT framework for an efficient analysis of the MACE data. It involves an extensive use of machine learning algorithms like Random Forest and Artificial Neural Networks for signal extraction and energy estimation. Various graphical user interfaces (GUIs) of MAP have also been developed in TCL/Tk on Linux platform. This software can easily be installed and used at any Linux platform having gcc compiler and ROOT/Python package.

Therefore, it is high time to create a large user data base within the country to achieve the science goals of the MACE telescope, which may be used as a national facility by the Indian gamma-ray astronomy community. Following topics will be covered during this one-day workshop:

  • Gamma-Ray Astronomy: Introduction to the field, Important milestones in last 30 years and Future perspectives.
  • MACE data Analysis: MACE telescope and Detection technique, Air shower simulation, Use of MAP and hands on practice.
  • Science Objectives: Main science drivers of MACE, Role of MACE in creating multi-wavelength observation program using Indian astronomical facilities and Future outlook.

No of Expected Participants: 30 participants in the in-person mode


The participation will be open to young researchers, Ph.D. students, post-doctoral fellows and senior scientists/faculties from Indian institutes. We will have a few talks and hands on session followed by a panel discussion during the workshop spread over one day.

Expected Outcome

The indigenously developed state-of-the art observational facility like MACE for very high energy gamma-ray astronomy is unique in the country. Therefore, it is a high time to widen the Indian user base by involving more researchers and young minds. The proposed workshop will provide a platform to discuss and initiate the activities to develop a mechanism for multi-wavelength observational facility in India using the existing as well as upcoming telescopes. It will also over a medium to discuss the interdisciplinary research at the interface of high energy astrophysics, particle physics and cosmology in future.


Kuldeep Yadav, Mridul Sharma, Pradeep Chandra, Chinmay Borwankar, Mani Khurana from Astrophysical Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Mumbai