The energy estimation procedures employed by different groups, for determining the energy of the primary γ-ray using a single atmospheric Cherenkov imaging telescope, include methods like polynomial fitting in SIZE and DISTANCE, general least square fitting and look-up table based interpolation. A novel energy reconstruction procedure, based on the utilization of Artificial Neural Network (ANN), has been developed for the TACTIC telescope. The procedure uses a 3:30:1 ANN configuration with resilient backpropagation algorithm to estimate the energy of a γ-ray like event on the basis of its image SIZE, DISTANCE and zenith angle. The new ANN-based energy reconstruction method, apart from yielding an energy resolution of ∼ 26 %, which is comparable to that of other single imaging telescopes, has the added advantage that it considers zenith angle dependence as well. Details of the ANN-based energy estimation procedure along with its comparative performance with other conventional energy reconstruction methods are presented in the paper and the results indicate that amongst all the methods considered in this work, ANN method yields the best results. The performance of the ANN-based energy reconstruction has also been validated by determining the energy spectrum of the Crab Nebula in the energy range 1-16 TeV, as measured by the TACTIC telescope. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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