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Proceedings Paper

Monte Carlo processes for including Chandra instrument response uncertainties in parameter estimation studies
Author(s): Jeremy J. Drake; Peter Ratzlaff; Vinay Kashyap; Richard Edgar; Rima Izem; Diab Jerius; Aneta Siemiginowska; Alexey Vikhlinin
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Paper Abstract

Instrument response uncertainties are almost universally ignored in current astrophysical X-ray data analyses. Yet modern X-ray observatories, such as Chandra and XMM-Newton, frequently acquire data for which photon counting statistics are not the dominant source of error. Including allowance for performance uncertainties is, however, technically challenging in terms of both understanding and specifying the uncertainties themselves, and in employing them in data analysis. Here we describe Monte Carlo methods developed to include instrument performance uncertainties in typical model parameter estimation studies. These methods are used to estimate the limiting accuracy of Chandra for understanding typical X-ray source model parameters. The present study indicates that, for ACIS-S3 observations, the limiting accuracy is reached for ~ 104 counts.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 June 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6270, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems, 62701I (30 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672226
Show Author Affiliations
Jeremy J. Drake, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Peter Ratzlaff, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Vinay Kashyap, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Richard Edgar, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Rima Izem, Harvard Univ. (United States)
Diab Jerius, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Aneta Siemiginowska, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Alexey Vikhlinin, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6270:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems
David R. Silva; Rodger E. Doxsey, Editor(s)

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