XMM-Newton LogoXMM-Newton Science Simulator


The XMM-Newton Science Simulator -called SciSim- is a simulator for the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory. It's purpose is to generate realistic simulated science data for a wide range of observational scenarios. The simulator does not generate the engineering and housekeeping data associated with observations.

The simulator has a Graphical User Interface (GUI), but it can also be invoked from the command line.
Additionally the GUI also provides a Cosmic Simulator, which allows input data to be created. This may be done by extracting sources from a star catalogue, placing sources manually or by simulating the sky.

The output of SciSim may be converted into FITS files which conform to the specification for the Observation and Slew Data Files (ODF).


SciSim 4.0.4 is the latest official release of the software.

You can find documentation, source code, as well as pre-compiled binaries here.

Please be aware that the outcome of SciSim simulations is not yet a realistic representation of XMM-Newton data as we wish (and know it can be). See eg. the watchout item on SciSim limitations.

Nevertheless, a good qualitative representation of the XMM-Newton scientific modes is already reached, as can be seen following the documentation for guiding the user through the analysis of SciSim data. This has been generated for each of the X-ray instruments, and can be found in the following links ( PN Thread, MOS Thread, RGS Thread) .

Questions should be sent to: XMM-Newton help desk