This page provides information and links to analysis tools specifically designed for simulating observations made with the X-ray Surveyor as conceptualized. The currently-envisioned instrument suite consists of a microcalorimeter, a high-definition imager, and a grating spectrometer behind a large, 3- to 6-meter maximum diameter, 10- to 20-meter focal length, X-ray mirror assembly. Other tools useful for comparing X-ray Surveyor simulations to other missions include MARX, SIMX, and SIXTE.


First release of the Simulated Observations with X-ray Surveyor (SOXS) package

SOXS is a software suite dedicated to creating simulated X-ray observations of astrophysical sources with the X-ray Surveyor. This tool is designed to provide support for developing a science case for the X-ray Surveyor mission and help drive the design of the instruments. The goal of SOXS is to provide a comprehensive set of tools to design source models and convolve them with simulated models of the X-ray Surveyor instrument.

Please sign up to the SOXS forum to receive news and information about SOXS and to ask questions. SOXS is being developed out in the open, on GitHub, to encourage contributions in the form of bugfixes and enhancements, reporting of issues, and to make contributing as simple as forking the code and submitting a pull request for review.

Documentation and installation instructions for SOXS
The documentation includes examples throughout as well as a "cookbook" section for example invocations. If you use SOXS to create interesting simulated observations, please send example scripts to us so that they may be incorporated into the cookbook.

Currently, SOXS has capabilities for simulating simple models for an XRS imager and calorimeter. There is also an interface within SOXS for one to design custom instruments by supplying your own response files and details about the PSF, etc. The goal is to expand the options available as we move forward.

John ZuHone, for the X-ray Surveyor Science Support Office


Response matrices and Effective Area files for 4 X-ray Surveyor mirror designs (Oct 2016)

A set of redistribution matrix files (RMFs) and ancillary response files (ARFs) are available for simulating X-ray spectra observed by XRS for 4 mirror configurations (10-, 15-, and 20-meter focal length with 3-meter outermost mirror diameter; 20-meter focal length with 6-meter outer diameter).

The package includes only one set of files for the grating spectrometer (xrs_cat.arf and xrs_cat.rmf). These are based on the 2011 raytraces of CAT gratings for the SMART-X mission concept. They correspond approximately to the 10-meter focal length, 3-meter outermost diameter, mirror system with 50% coverage of the input aperture by the gratings, and R=5000. At this time, we do not have updated raytraces for the grating instrument and thus cannot provide effective area nor RMFs for the other mirror designs.

The earlier version of the response metrics package (see below) included an estimated background for the HDXI instrument. We no longer plan to distribute backgrounds together with the response package. Backgrounds should be simulated using SOXS (see above).


Response matrices and Effective Area files for notional X-ray Surveyor science instruments (Oct 2015)

Download and Usage Instructions
A set of redistribution matrix files (RMFs) and ancillary response files (ARFs), along with simulated background spectra as appropriate, are available for simulating X-ray spectra observed by XRS for the 3 notional (circa 2015) science instruments: High Definition X-ray Imager, Microcalorimeter Spectrometer, and Critical-Angle Transmission Grating Spectrometer.