Pyxel 1.0: an open source Python framework for detector and end-to-end instrument simulation

Arko, Matej; Prod'homme, Thibaut; Lemmel, Frédéric; Serra, Benoit; George, Elizabeth; Kelman, Bradley; Pichon, Thibault; Biancalani, Enrico and Gilbert, James (2022). Pyxel 1.0: an open source Python framework for detector and end-to-end instrument simulation. In: Proc. SPIE 12187, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy X (Angeli, George Z. and Dierickx, Philippe eds.), SPIE, Bellingham, WA, article no. 1218705.



Detector modelling is becoming more and more critical for the successful development of new instruments in scientific space missions and ground-based experiments. Specific modelling tools are often developed from scratch by each individual project and not necessarily shared for reuse by a wider community. To foster knowledge transfer, reusability and reliability in the instrumentation community, ESA and ESO joined forces and developed Pyxel, a framework for the simulation of scientific detectors and instruments. Pyxel is an open-source and collaborative project, based on Python, developed as an easy-to-use tool that can host and pipeline any kind of detector effect model. Recently Pyxel has achieved a new milestone: the public release and launch of version 1.0 which simplified third-party contributions and improved ease of use even further. Since its launch, Pyxel has been experiencing a growing user community and is being used to simulate all kinds of detectors beyond the traditional Charged-Coupled Devices and CMOS devices, for example Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKID) and Avalanche Photo Diode (APD) devices. We give a tour of Pyxel’s version 1.0 changes and new features including a new interface, parallel computing, and new detectors and models. We continue with an example of using Pyxel as a tool for model optimization and calibration. Finally, we describe an example of how Pyxel and its features can be used to develop a full-scale end-to-end instrument simulator.

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