marx accuracy and testing

No simulation is ever perfect. In this section, we show tests for the internal consistency of marx and compare simulations to real observations. This demonstrates the limits to which marx simulations can be trusted. Anybody using marx for scientific analysis needs to consult the following pages to determine if the simulations are realistic enough for their purpose.

For example, the marx HRMA module uses a simplified geometry to speed up simulations so that the user can simulate millions of rays in just a few minutes on a typical desktop computer. Thus, the simulated PSF will certainly differ from the observed PSF. SAOTrace has more details, but does not the “hook” feature of the PSF seen on very small scales either. Only a comparison between simulations and observed data can tell how well the simulations are doing.

The code to run all these tests is available and linked below. Advanced users may wish to inspect the code of the tests for some more ideas on how to use marx. The code is lightly commented, but not in as much details as Examples of MARX in use. It will not execute as-is on your computer because it depends on the local $PATH and other environment variables. For example, we use Python scripts to set up a directory structure, download Chandra data, initialize CIAO etc. See for the full code to run all tests.