What Observers Really Want

Mushotzky, Richard

After 10 years of XMM and Chandra as well as many other astronomical space missions (e.g. Swift, Spitzer, Suzaku, Hubble etc) it is clear that the present system(s) of data analysis is in need of review. I will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of several of the present high energy data systems and suggest a path to the future.

Many observers now routinely utilize many different data sets to understand the physics of the objects under study, but the data comes in many forms with different analysis systems, different data archive systems and different calibration architectures each of which has its own plusses and minuses. While it is far too late to have a uniform system for all NASA and ESA space missions it is still possible to insure that the data in the archives can be analyzed by one software package that has a uniform look and feel yet is still capable of handling the different types of data and the properties of the instruments. I will discuss some of the properties of such a system.

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