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ASCA Guest Observer Facility

Limitations of the current SIS calibration

Since SIS cannot directly observe the Crab nebula, spectral calibration of the SIS is based on:

  1. Our understanding of the instrument, from the design specification and the ground calibration.
  2. Observations of 3C273.
The latter was used to cross-calibrate the SIS against the GIS, which in turn was calibrated using the observation of the Crab. In this process, the high energy data were used to adjust the depletion layer depth of the chips. After this, the low energy data were used to adjust the thickness of the various dead layers, assuming that the spectrum of 3C273 within the SIS band could be represented by a single power-law at this epoch. Despite considerable efforts, structures remain in the low energy data of 3C273 (see below).

ASCA 3C273 3C273 data, the best-fit model, and the residuals (plotted as ratio of data/model) using the current calibration of the SIS.

It has been reported that SIS spectra of a wide variety of objects (AGN, stars) consistently show flux deficit at around 0.5 keV. The above figure shows this is likely to be a calibration problem. (This is separate from a more general problem resulting in an overestimate of Nh, by about 3e20, in SIS spectral fits.)

There is a new XRT response that includes energy-dependence of the point spread function, currently being checked out by ASCA team members. This is being used to refine the GIS calibration. When this is complete, the SIS team will use the new XRT response and repeat the cross-calibration of the SIS and the GIS, using the new GIS response. At the same time, particular attention will be paid to possible energy scale offsets, and the possible presence of a soft excess in the 3C273 calibration data within the SIS band. It is hoped that the results of this new calibration will become available by mid-1996.

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This file was last modified on Tuesday, 26-Jun-2001 12:12:05 EDT

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