BatAnalysis -- A Comprehensive Python Pipeline for Swift BAT Survey Analysis

11 Mar 2023  ·  Tyler Parsotan, Sibasish Laha, David M. Palmer, Amy Lien, S. Bradley Cenko, Hans Krimm, Craig Markwardt ·

The Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) is a coded aperture gamma-ray instrument with a large field of view that primarily operates in survey mode when it is not triggering on transient events. The survey data consists of eighty-channel detector plane histograms that accumulate photon counts over time periods of at least 5 minutes. These histograms are processed on the ground and are used to produce the survey dataset between $14$ and $195$ keV. Survey data comprises $> 90\%$ of all BAT data by volume and allows for the tracking of long term light curves and spectral properties of cataloged and uncataloged hard X-ray sources. Until now, the survey dataset has not been used to its full potential due to the complexity associated with its analysis and the lack of easily usable pipelines. Here, we introduce the BatAnalysis python package , a wrapper for HEASoftpy, which provides a modern, open-source pipeline to process and analyze BAT survey data. BatAnalysis allows members of the community to use BAT survey data in more advanced analyses of astrophysical sources including pulsars, pulsar wind nebula, active galactic nuclei, and other known/unknown transient events that may be detected in the hard X-ray band. We outline the steps taken by the python code and exemplify its usefulness and accuracy by analyzing survey data from the Crab Pulsar, NGC 2992, and a previously uncataloged MAXI Transient. The BatAnalysis package allows for $\sim$ 18 years of BAT survey to be used in a systematic way to study a large variety of astrophysical sources.

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics