Lynx Tools for Analysis

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Revealing the Hidden Universe

This page provides information and links to analysis tools specifically designed for simulating observations made with Lynx (formerly 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. The Lynx Study Office contingent at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory built and maintains the Simulating Observations of X-ray Sources (SOXS) package.

The software package has been enhanced to support generating gratings spectra. This is a major new release with a number of other important new features. See the Version 2.0.0 release notes for details.

The Simulating Observations of X-ray Sources (SOXS) software suite

SOXS is a software suite dedicated to creating simulated X-ray observations of astrophysical sources with Lynx. This tool is designed to provide support for developing a science case for the Lynx 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 Lynx instruments.

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 a User's Guide and 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 the Lynx imager and calorimeter instruments, as well as simplified models for the Athena WFI and XIFU and Chandra/ACIS-I. 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 Lynx Science Support Office

Other tools useful for comparing Lynx simulations to other missions include MARX, SIMX, and SIXTE.

The latest Lynx stand-alone Redistribution Matrix and Ancillary Response Files, sanctioned by the Lynx Science Support Office, are posted on the SOXS site (along with RMFs and ARFs for Athena and Chandra).