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Proceedings Paper

Concordance: In-flight calibration of x-ray telescopes without absolute references (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Herman L. Marshall; Vinay Kashyap; Matteo Guainazzi; Yang Chen; Xufei Wang; Xiao-Li Meng; Jeremy Drake
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Paper Abstract

We describe a process for cross-calibrating the effective areas of X-ray telescopes that observe common targets. The targets are not assumed to be "standard candles" in the classic sense, in that the only constraint placed on the source flux is that it is the same for all instruments. We apply a technique developed by Chen et al. (submitted to J. Amer. Stat. Association) that involves a popular statistical method called shrinkage estimation, which effectively reduces the noise in disparate measurements by combining information across common observations. We can then determine effective area correction factors for each instrument that brings all observatories into the best agreement, consistent with prior knowledge of their effective areas. We have preliminary values that characterize systematic uncertainties in effective areas for almost all operational (and some past) X-ray astronomy instruments in bands covering factors of two in photon energy from 0.15 keV to 300 keV. We demonstrate the method with several data sets from Chandra and XMM-Newton.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2018
Proc. SPIE 10704, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII, 107040G (10 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2314218
Show Author Affiliations
Herman L. Marshall, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)
Vinay Kashyap, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Matteo Guainazzi, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Yang Chen, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Xufei Wang, Harvard Univ. (United States)
Xiao-Li Meng, Harvard Univ. (United States)
Jeremy Drake, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10704:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII
Alison B. Peck; Robert L. Seaman; Chris R. Benn, Editor(s)

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