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Proceedings Paper

Processing challenges in the XMM-Newton slew survey
Author(s): Richard D Saxton; Bruno Altieri; Andrew M. Read; Michael J. Freyberg; M. Pilar Esquej; Diego Bermejo
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Paper Abstract

The great collecting area of the mirrors coupled with the high quantum efficiency of the EPIC detectors have made XMM-Newton the most sensitive X-ray observatory flown to date. This is particularly evident during slew exposures which, while giving only 15 seconds of on-source time, actually constitute a 2-10 keV survey ten times deeper than current "all-sky" catalogues. Here we report on progress towards making a catalogue of slew detections constructed from the full, 0.2-12 keV energy band and discuss the challenges associated with processing the slew data. The fast (90 degrees per hour) slew speed results in images which are smeared, by different amounts depending on the readout mode, effectively changing the form of the point spread function. The extremely low background in slew images changes the optimum source searching criteria such that searching a single image using the full energy band is seen to be more sensitive than splitting the data into discrete energy bands. False detections due to optical loading by bright stars, the wings of the PSF in very bright sources and single-frame detector flashes are considered and techniques for identifying and removing these spurious sources from the final catalogue are outlined. Finally, the attitude reconstruction of the satellite during the slewing maneuver is complex. We discuss the implications of this on the positional accuracy of the catalogue.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 August 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5898, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIV, 58980C (18 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.616989
Show Author Affiliations
Richard D Saxton, XMM-SOC, ESAC (Spain)
Bruno Altieri, XMM-SOC, ESAC (Spain)
Andrew M. Read, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Michael J. Freyberg, Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
M. Pilar Esquej, XMM-SOC, ESAC (Spain)
Diego Bermejo, XMM-SOC, ESAC (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5898:
UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XIV
Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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