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Paper: Chandra Level 3 Processing: Creating an Automated Source Catalog for Chandra Data
Volume: 314, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIII
Page: 420
Authors: Hain, R.; Dobrzycki, A.; Evans, I.; DePonte, J.; Evans, Freeman, P.; Glotfelty, K.; Karovska, M.; McCollough, M.; Primini, F.; Rots, A.H.
Abstract: Efforts are underway at the Chandra X-ray Center to develop a new level of data processing capability which will result in the creation of a source catalog spanning the full set of Chandra observations. Level 3 processing will include detailed source properties derived from all available Chandra data. The resulting catalog will provide easy access to Chandra data for an expanded number of astronomers, particularly those less familiar with analysis in the X-ray regime. It will allow easy searching of the archive for specific sources or for statistical properties of different classes of targets. In addition, consistent sets of data products along with all relevant calibrations will be available for detailed analyses.

Work has begun on developing a preliminary data processing pipeline, combining existing processing tools and identifying functionality which needs to be developed. Some effort has been made to identify a quick source detection algorithm which can work in the presence of the low-count background and source photons typical of Chandra X-ray data, and also be robust enough to find multiple or extended sources. Eventual goals of Level 3 processing include refining source detection and properties by simultaneously fitting multiple observations, and cross-matching identified sources with other catalogs. In this paper we present the current design, challenges, and discuss the various analysis trade-offs.

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