PIMMS (Portable, Interactive, Multi-Mission Simulator) is intended as a versatile simulation tool for X-ray astronomers. It is primarily intended as a planning tool for future observations.

PIMMS uses one command GO for actual execution, while other commands are mostly used for setting up various parameters. This approach allows users to repeat similar calculations using a slightly different parameter.

PIMMS uses the following terms:

  • Model: spectral model to be used. PIMMS contains a small set of simple spectral models, and others can be imported.
  • Instrument: in addition to the instrument for which simulation is to be done, you can also specify the input instrument for count rate calculations. This is used for calculating normalization of the model; rather than starting from the source flux in cgs unit, PIMMS can start from e.g., Einstein IPC count rate.
  • Mission: PIMMS reads the list of missions from a file called pms_mssn.lst in the data directory. It then looks, for each mission (i.e., satellite), detector and filter combination, the appropriate calibration files for the effective area etc. Since this is a run-time process, the following items may not exactly correspond to what you see. For a listing of what is currently available, use the DIRECTORY command.

There is also a version with a web interface, WebPIMMS, that implements a subset of the functionalities of the command line PIMMS. While allowing easy access, without the need to install the software, it probably will not have all the functionality of the command line versions in the foreseeable future.

From a Configured Workstation, you can run the command line version of PIMMS with the command:



To install PIMMS on a Configured Workstation, run the following commands:

cd /opt/pimms/3.9b
wget ftp://legacy.gsfc.nasa.gov/software/tools/pimms3_9b.tar.gz
tar zxf pimms3_9b.tar.gz
cd source

Then edit the last two lines of /opt/pimms/3.9b/source/sitespec.inc to read:

        data ddir_name / '/opt/pimms/3.9b/data' /
        data mdir_name / '/opt/pimms/3.9b/models' /

Then run

make arch=linux

Then to add the extra Raymond-Smith models (see the last section on the PIMMS install page), run:

cd /opt/pimms/3.9b/models
wget ftp://legacy.gsfc.nasa.gov/software/tools/extra_v3.tar.gz
tar zxf extra_v3.tar.gz
rm -f extra_v3.tar.gz
chown root:root *

And finally, to put the resulting executable in the path, run:

ln -s /opt/pimms/3.9b/pimms /usr/local/bin/pimms