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Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Spectra Information from Multiple Independent Astrophysics Data SetsThe Maximum Likelihood (ML) statistical theory required to estimate spectra information from an arbitrary number of astrophysics data sets produced by vastly different science instruments is developed in this paper. This theory and its successful implementation will facilitate the interpretation of spectral information from multiple astrophysics missions and thereby permit the derivation of superior spectral information based on the combination of data sets. The procedure is of significant value to both existing data sets and those to be produced by future astrophysics missions consisting of two or more detectors by allowing instrument developers to optimize each detector's design parameters through simulation studies in order to design and build complementary detectors that will maximize the precision with which the science objectives may be obtained. The benefits of this ML theory and its application is measured in terms of the reduction of the statistical errors (standard deviations) of the spectra information using the multiple data sets in concert as compared to the statistical errors of the spectra information when the data sets are considered separately, as well as any biases resulting from poor statistics in one or more of the individual data sets that might be reduced when the data sets are combined.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Howell, Leonard W., Jr.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Six, N. Frank
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2002
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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