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Accession Number N20120010320
Title Advances in the RXTE Proportional Counter Array Calibration: Nearing the Statistical Limit.
Publication Date May 2012
Media Count 6p
Personal Author C. Markwardt J. Swank K. Jahoda N. Shaposhnikov T. Strohmayer
Abstract During its 16 years of service Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) mission has provided an extensive archive of data, which will serve as a primary source of high cadence observation of variable X-ray sources for fast timing studies. It is, therefore, very important to have the most reliable calibration of RXTE instruments. The Proportional Counter Array (PCA) is the primary instrument on-board RXTE which provides data in 2-50 keY with higher than millisecond time resolution in up to 256 energy channels. In 2009 RXTE team revised the response residual minimization method used to derive the parameters of the PCA physical model. The procedure is now based on the residual minimization between the model spectrum for Crab nebula emission and a calibration data set consisting of a number of spectra from the Crab and the on-board Am241 calibration source, uniformly covering a whole RXTE span. The new method led to a much more effective model convergence and allowed for better understanding of the behavior of the PCA energy-to-channel relationship. It greatly improved the response matrix performance. We describe the new version of the RXTE/PCA response generator PCARMF vll.7 along with the corresponding energy-to-channel conversion table (version e05v04) and their difference from the previous releases of PCA calibration. The new PCA response adequately represents the spectrum of the calibration sources and successfully predicts the energy of the narrow iron emission line in Cas-A throughout the RXTE mission.
Keywords Calibrating
Conversion tables
Crab nebula
Energy conversion
Proportional counters
X ray sources
X ray timing explorer

Source Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NTIS Subject Category 54C - Astrophysics
Corporate Author Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.
Document Type Journal article
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1226
Contract Number N/A

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