If you would like to be informed whenever a new version of PIMMS is released,
please contact Koji Mukai.
V3.9k is a minor update of V3.9j, the only difference being a new set of Suzaku effective area curves and in the Suzaku HXD specific routine. Suzaku Cycle 5 proposers should use V3.9k.
V3.9j is a minor update of V3.9i, the only difference being a new set of Chandra effective area curves that should be used when writing Cycle 11 proposals.
V3.9i correctly treats the statistical errors in the
Suzaku HXD background files provided to the users. It also includes
updates of instrument-specific outputs when a limited energy range
PIMMS - Portable, Interactive Multi-Mission
PIMMS, as described here, is software for high-energy astrophysicists,
and has nothing to do with PIMMS, the Project to Increase
Mastery of Mathematics and Science. The program was named quite independently
of this worthwhile project at Wesleyan University.
Time-Variable Instrumental Response
PIMMS currently does not support time-variable calibration of instruments.
Because it is primarily intended as a planning tool for future observations,
the responses in PIMMS is often applicable for upcoming observations.
For example, if you are a Chandra user who wishes to convert
count rates in a past observation to flux, please see this
Command-line version and World-Wide Web version
PIMMS had originally been written as a stand-alone, interactive
program (the "command line PIMMS").
WebPIMMS 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.
PIMMS is currently supported on several flavors
of UNIX workstations, on Linux PCs, and on Macs running OS X/Darwin. It
requires a Fortran77 compiler, and make on UNIX machines. Please
consult the Installation Guide for details,
then download the latest
MODELS: The additional set of 205 Raymond-Smith models is also
available for download
from LEDAS (15MB tar file).
- New in Version 3.9k (Released 2009 Oct 6)
* Effective area curves for the Suzaku XIS and HXD instruments have been updated. Background numbers contained in a Suzaku/HXD specific routine have been updated. Suzaku Cycle 5 proposers should use this version of PIMMS.
- New in Version 3.9j (Released 2009 Jan 21)
* Effective area curves for the Chandra instruments have been updates. The new versions are appropriate for Cycle 11 proposers.
- New in Version 3.9i (Released 2008 Nov 4)
* This version correctly treats the statistical errors in the Suzaku
HXD background files provided to the users.
* It also corrects bugs for Swift XRT grade 0 count rates as well as
ASCA count rates within the typical extraction regions, in cases when
a limited energy range is specified.
* Also when a limited energy range is specified for outputs, the message
regarding the lack of instrument-specific extra information has been
- New in Version 3.9h (Released 2008 Oct 20)
* The effective area curves for Suzaku XIS and HXD have been updated,
although differences are minor compared with the previous version. In
addition for the HXD, PIMMS now outputs approximate time needed for
3-sigma and 5-sigma detection in the standard energy bands (1 for PIN
and 2 for GSO), given the current level of systematic uncertainties
in the background models.
- New in Version 3.9g (Released 2008 Sep 15)
* Effective area curves for XMM-Newton EPIC/MOS and Swift XRT have been
updated. For the MOS, a new warning regarding the loss of efficiency
in MOS1 timing mode data has been included.
- New in Version 3.9f (Released 2008 Apr 14)
* Effective area curves for Constellation-X (under the new name "conx"),
XEUS, as well as those for Swift UVOT (except grisms)
- New in Version 3.9e (Released 2007 Dec 18)
* Effective area curves for the Chandra instruments have been updated.
The new versions are appropriate for Cycle 10 proposers.
- New in Version 3.9d (Released 2007 Oct 23)
* Effective area curves for Suzaku XIS and HXD instruments have been
updated. The new versions are appropriate for Cycle 3 proposers.
- New in Version 3.9c (Released 2007 Sep 12)
* Effective area curves for XMM-Newton EPIC instruments have been updated,
reflecting very minor calibration changes. However, at the same time,
PIMMS now predicts count rates for EPIC/pn for PATTERN=0 events only,
to provide a more conservative estimates for proposers. This change
reduces the predicted count rates typically by a third. There is a corresponding
minor change in pile-up correction routine so it will continue using
the total (all PATTERN) count rates internally.
- New in Version 3.9b (Released 2006 Dec 26)
* Updated Chandra effective area curves appropriate for Cycle 9
* A bug that affected energy flux calculations of redshifted, table-based
models (including Raymond-Smith) has been fixed. Note that analytical
models (power-law, blackbody, bremsstrahlung) were never affected
by this bug; neither were table-based models when not redshifted;
nor the photon flux calculations of redshifted, table-based models.
- New in version 3.9 (Released 2006 Sep 6)
* A bug that affected command-line users on Linux platforms, causing
a core dump under certain circumstances, has been fixed.
* XMM-Newton EPIC effective area curves have been updated. The new calibration
is appropriate for AO-6 propers. However, the differences with previous
versions are small.
- New in versions 3.8/3.8a/3.8a2 (Released
- New in versions 3.7/3.7a (Released
2005 Sep - 2005 Dec)
- New in versions 3.6/3.6a/3.6b/3.6c5
(Released 2004 Sep 15 - 2005 Feb 10)
- New in version 3.5 (Released 2004 Jul
- New in version 3.4/3.4a (Released 2003
Sep - 2004 Jan 12).
- New in version 3.3/3.3a (Released 2002
Dec 16 - 2003 Mar 27).
- New in version 3.2a-d (Released 2001
Sep 10 - 2002 Jan 29).
- New in version 3.1a-c (Released 2001
January 29 - May 03).
- New in version 3.0 (Released 2000 April
- New in version 2.7 (Released 1999 July
- New in version 2.6 a-c (Released 1999
February 2 - May 4).
- New in version 2.5 (Released 1997 December
- New in version 2.4/2.4b (Released 1996
- New in version 2.3 (Released 1996 June
- New in version 2.2 (Released 1995 August
- New in version s2.1a (Released 1995
- Using Multi-component Models
- PIMMS commands
Download the LaTeX, PDF or PostScript version
of the Guide.
Adding new missions and other future plans
very basic level, new missions can be added simply by creating a set of effective
area curve files: they need to be two-column ASCII files, containing pairs of
photon energy in keV and effective area in cm2.
source code and data files are distributed freely, without restrictions. If you
decide to add new missions to PIMMS, we would like to be able to distribute
it from HEASARC.
We hope to have a programmers' guide some day to make it
easier to add mission-specific information.
Credits and Feedback
is mostly written and maintained by Koji Mukai. Effective area curves for current
and future missions have been supplied by the respective projects. XTE specific
subroutines have been written by Koji Mukai, with the help of Jim Lochner and
Phil Blanco. The SAX specific subroutine has been written by the SAX Data Center
and Lorella Angelini. Snowden R-band effective area curves for ROSAT PSPC have
been created by Richard West of Leicester.
The only published article on PIMMS
is in the HEASARC journal:
Mukai, K. 1993, Legacy 3, 21-31.
Comments on the Web interface of WebPIMMS, please contact
comments on the functionalities of PIMMS can be sent to Koji Mukai.