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Proceedings Paper

How to handle calibration uncertainties in high-energy astrophysics
Author(s): Vinay L. Kashyap; Hyunsook Lee; Aneta Siemiginowska; Jonathan McDowell; Arnold Rots; Jeremy Drake; Pete Ratzlaff; Andreas Zezas; Rima Izem; Alanna Connors; David van Dyk; Taeyoung Park
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Paper Abstract

Unlike statistical errors, whose importance has been well established in astronomical applications, uncertainties in instrument calibration are generally ignored. Despite wide recognition that uncertainties in calibration can cause large systematic errors, robust and principled methods to account for them have not been developed, and consequently there is no mechanism by which they can be incorporated into standard astronomical data analysis. Here we present a framework where they can be encoded such that they can be brought within the scope of analysis. We describe this framework, which is based on a modified MCMC algorithm, and propose a format standard derived from experience with effective area measurements of the ACIS-S detector on Chandra that can be applied to any instrument or method of codifying systematic errors. Calibration uncertainties can then be propagated into model parameter estimates to produce error bars that include systematic error information.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7016, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II, 70160P (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788372
Show Author Affiliations
Vinay L. Kashyap, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Hyunsook Lee, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Aneta Siemiginowska, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Jonathan McDowell, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Arnold Rots, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Jeremy Drake, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Pete Ratzlaff, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Andreas Zezas, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Rima Izem, Harvard Univ. (United States)
Alanna Connors, Eureka Scientific (United States)
David van Dyk, Univ. of California, Irvine (United States)
Taeyoung Park, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7016:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II
Roger J. Brissenden; David R. Silva, Editor(s)

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