A Caltech Library Service

Transient processing and analysis using AMPEL: alert management, photometry, and evaluation of light curves

Nordin, J. and Brinnel, V. and van Santen, J. and Bulla, M. and Feindt, U. and Franckowiak, A. and Fremling, C. and Gal-Yam, A. and Giomi, M. and Kowalski, M. and Mahabal, A. and Miranda, N. and Rauch, L. and Reusch, S. and Rigault, M. and Schulze, S. and Sollerman, J. and Stein, R. and Yaron, O. and van Velzen, S. and Ward, C. (2019) Transient processing and analysis using AMPEL: alert management, photometry, and evaluation of light curves. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 631 . Art. No. A147. ISSN 0004-6361.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Both multi-messenger astronomy and new high-throughput wide-field surveys require flexible tools for the selection and analysis of astrophysical transients. We here introduce the Alert Management, Photometry and Evaluation of Lightcurves (AMPEL) system, an analysis framework designed for high-throughput surveys and suited for streamed data. AMPEL combines the functionality of an alert broker with a generic framework capable of hosting user-contributed code, that encourages provenance and keeps track of the varying information states that a transient displays. The latter concept includes information gathered over time and data policies such as access or calibration levels. We describe a novel ongoing real-time multi-messenger analysis using AMPEL to combine IceCube neutrino data with the alert streams of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). We also reprocess the first four months of ZTF public alerts, and compare the yields of more than 200 different transient selection functions to quantify efficiencies for selecting Type Ia supernovae that were reported to the Transient Name Server (TNS). We highlight three channels suitable for (1) the collection of a complete sample of extragalactic transients, (2) immediate follow-up of nearby transients and (3) follow-up campaigns targeting young, extragalactic transients. We confirm ZTF completeness in that all TNS supernovae positioned on active CCD regions were detected. AMPEL can assist in filtering transients in real time, running alert reaction simulations, the reprocessing of full datasets as well as in the final scientific analysis of transient data. This text introduces how users can design their own channels for inclusion in the AMPEL live instance that parses the ZTF stream and the real-time submission of high quality extragalactic supernova candidates to the TNS.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Bulla, M.0000-0002-8255-5127
Feindt, U.0000-0002-9435-2167
Fremling, C.0000-0002-4223-103X
Gal-Yam, A.0000-0002-3653-5598
Mahabal, A.0000-0003-2242-0244
Rigault, M.0000-0002-8121-2560
Schulze, S.0000-0001-6797-1889
Sollerman, J.0000-0003-1546-6615
Yaron, O.0000-0002-0301-8017
van Velzen, S.0000-0002-3859-8074
Alternate Title:Transient processing and analysis using AMPEL: Alert Management, Photometry and Evaluation of Lightcurves
Additional Information:© 2019 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 5 April 2019; Accepted 10 June 2019. Published online 11 November 2019. Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope 48-inch and the 60-inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. The authors are grateful to the IceCube Collaboration for providing the neutrino dataset and supporting its use with AMPEL. N.M. acknowledges the support of the Helmholtz Einstein International Berlin Research School in Data Science (HEIBRiDS), Deutsches Elektronensynchrotron (DESY), and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. M.R. acknowledges the support from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement no. 759194 – USNAC).
Group:Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)UNSPECIFIED
Weizmann Institute of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Stockholm UniversityUNSPECIFIED
University of MarylandUNSPECIFIED
University of WashingtonUNSPECIFIED
Deutsches Elektronen-SynchrotronUNSPECIFIED
Humboldt UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Los Alamos National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeUNSPECIFIED
Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Helmholtz Einstein International Berlin Research School in Data Science (HEIBRiDS)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsches Elektronen-SynchrotronUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)759194
Subject Keywords:methods: data analysis – astronomical databases: miscellaneous – virtual observatory tools – supernovae: general – cosmology: observations
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190802-112432567
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Transient processing and analysis using AMPEL: alert management, photometry, and evaluation of light curves. J. Nordin, V. Brinnel, J. van Santen, M. Bulla, U. Feindt, A. Franckowiak, C. Fremling, A. Gal-Yam, M. Giomi, M. Kowalski, A. Mahabal, N. Miranda, L. Rauch, S. Reusch, M. Rigault, S. Schulze, J. Sollerman, R. Stein, O. Yaron, S. van Velzen and C. Ward. A&A, 631 (2019) A147. DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97619
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:02 Aug 2019 18:35
Last Modified:10 Dec 2019 20:48

Repository Staff Only: item control page