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Paper: The XMM-Newton Pipeline Processing System (PPS) and the 3XMM-DR5, the Largest-Ever Catalogue of X-ray Sources
Volume: 512, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXV
Page: 333
Authors: Gabriel, C.; Rosen, S.; Webb, N.; Rodriguez, P.; Ojero-Pascual, E.; Perea, J. V.
Abstract: The European Space Agency X-ray space observatory XMM-Newton has executed ∼600 observations per year since January 2000. Science data from the 3 imaging and 2 grating X-ray instruments and the UV/optical telescope on XMM-Newton (which observe simultaneously) are reduced by a dedicated pipeline processing system (PPS), using the same Scientific Analysis System (SAS) software packages that are available for users to interactively analyse XMM-Newton data. The pipeline, originally developed and maintained during the first 12 years of the mission by the Survey Science Centre (SSC), a Consortium of European institutes, is now operated by, and under the direct responsibility of, the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at ESAC. Among the many (∼500) products derived for each observation (from calibrated event lists to individual and combined sky images, diagnostic images, cross correlations with archival data, spectra, time series, etc.) are the lists of detected sources in the field of view (typically 50 - 100 per observation). From these source lists, several source catalogues have been compiled during the mission, each of them marking a new record in number of objects. The fifth release of the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue (3XMM-DR5), made public by the SSC in April 2015, contains 565 962 X-ray detections, with 396 910 unique sources, ranging from nearby objects in our Solar System to supermassive black holes at the edge of the Universe. For each detection, a wealth of information is provided to help understand the nature of the object, including more than 133 000 spectra and time series of individual detections. We are going to discuss in this contribution the continuous development and maintenance of the pipeline, including its move from the University of Leicester to ESAC, as well as the characteristics and potential of the catalogue, and the technical challenges for building it.
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