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N.S. Brickhouse, R.K. Smith (CfA), J.C. Houck (MIT)
The increasing volume of atomic data included as input to current theoretical spectral models of high energy plasmas presents a significant burden not faced by traditional plasma emission codes. Similarly the output of spectral synthesis codes require compilation of large numbers of individual emission lines and continuum bins appropriate for high resolution/broad band grating data from Chandra and XMM. Furthermore, the outputs have traditionally lacked detail and specificity with respect to the origins of the input data, making it difficult to assess the reliability of the derived models. We have designed FITS-formatted data files for both inputs (the Astrophysical Plasma Emission Database or APED) and outputs of spectral synthesis codes (synthetic spectral output or SSO). These new file formats allow for multiple data formats (e.g. fits to a functional form or a grid of calculated values); multiple entries for the same transition and rate coefficient; citation indexing; uncertainty estimates; and access. We present examples to illustrate flexibility, generality, and application.
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