The McXtrace AstroX toolbox: a general ray tracing software package for end to end simulation of x-ray optics for astronomical instrumentation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedings – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review



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McXtrace is a general, highly modular, X-ray tracing open source software package for simulating X-ray optics. While initially intended for simulating synchrotron beamlines, it has recently found use in astrophysics. Here it is being used to evaluate the projected performance of X-ray telescope designs. We present the software add-on toolbox "AstroX" to McXtrace containing all of the common optical elements found in satellite based X-ray telescopes. In addition, the toolbox contains detector and source models relevant for astronomical applications. As an added benefit, users may exploit the heritage of McXtrace and use its beamline elements, to simulate characterization measurements of optical elements. McXtrace AstroX allows for simulation of X-rays telescopes based on different optical concepts such as nested mirror shells and Silicon Pore Optics technology. In this study we present examples of McXtrace AstroX use for ATHENA-, and NuSTAR-like telescope concepts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
EditorsJan-Willem A. den Herder , Shouleh Nikzad , Kazuhiro Nakazawa
Number of pages7
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventSPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Austin, United States
Duration: 10 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


ConferenceSPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
CountryUnited States
Sponsor4D Technology Corporation, Andor Technology, Ltd., Astronomical Consultants and Equipment, Inc., Giant Magellan Telescope, SPIE
SeriesProceedings of S P I E - International Society for Optical Engineering
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • ATHENA, Ray tracing, McXtrace, Simulation, X-rays, SPO, Effective area, Mirror module

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