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SIXTE – Simulation of X-ray Telescopes

SIXTE is a software package for X-ray telescope observation simulations developed at the Remeis Observatory (ECAP). It allows to undertake instrument performance analyses and to produce simulated event files for mission- and analysis studies.

The software strives to find a balance between exactness of the simulation and speed. For many cases, by using calibration files such as the PSF, RMF and ARF, efficient simulations are possible at comparably high speed, even though they include nonlinear effects such as pileup. Setups for some current and future missions such as XMM-Newton or Athena are included in the package, others can be added by the user with relatively little effort through specifying the main instrument characteristics in a flexible, human-readable XML-based format.

We, the SIXTE Team, have prepared all the information you need to get started with SIXTE right here on this website:

  • For an overview of the SIXTE software package, see Dauser et al. (2019). If you want to have a more detailed look into what SIXTE is all about, refer to the SIXTE Simulator Manual (linked below).
  • All information to download and install SIXTE can be found in the Installation tab. SIXTE runs on Linux, as well as on Mac (Intel and M1). Due to a lack of resources, we do not support Windows.
  • To give you a head start, you can find a quick example in the How to use SIXTE tab. For a more detailed walk-through follow the tutorial in the manual (linked below). If you are more of a visual learner, we recommend attending our workshops.
  • Speaking about workshops, you can find all informations, including talks and slides from previous workshops in the tab Workshops. As soon as we plan our next workshop, we will announce all details here on our website.
  • Do you want to know for what variety of X-ray telescopes SIXTE can be used or are you looking for some example sources? Take a look into the Instruments and the Sources tab.
  • If you ever need help with installing or using sixte, or just want to get in touch with us, find the contact details provided in the Contact section.


If you use results obtained with SIXTE in a publication, please cite as: “This research has made use of the SIXTE software package (Dauser et al., 2019) provided by ECAP/Remeis observatory (”

SIXTE Simulator Manual

A detailed description of SIXTE, as well as a detailed tutorial, can be found in the SIXTE Manual here.