XMM-Newton Users Handbook

3.7 Comparison with other X-ray satellites

A basic comparison of XMM-Newton's properties with those of Chandra, ROSAT, ASCA, RXTE, Swift, Suzaku and NuSTAR is given in Table 28. It is immediately clear that Chandra and XMM-Newton have complementary characteristics and that both have constituted a new generation of X-ray missions, with enormously improved capabilities compared to their predecessors ASCA, ROSAT and RXTE.

Table 28: Comparison of XMM-Newton with other X-ray satellites
Satellite Mirror PSF Mirror PSF E range A$_{\bf e}$ at 1 keV Orbital target Energy resolution
  FWHM [$~{\bf ''}$] HEW [$~{\bf ''}$] [keV] [cm$^{\bf 2}$]$^a$ visibility [hr] at 1 keV [eV]
XMM-Newton 6 15 0.15 - 12 4650$^b$ 36.7$^c$ 4 (RGS)
Chandra 0.2$^d$ 0.5$^d$ 0.1 - 10   555 (ACIS-S) 44.4$^c$ 1 (HETG)
ROSAT 3.5 7 0.1 - 2.4   400 1.3$^e$ 500
ASCA 73 174 0.5 - 10   350 0.9$^e$ 100
Suzaku 96 - 120 108 - 138 0.2 - 600 1760 (XIS) 0.72$^e$ 50
RXTE n.a.$^g$ n.a.$^g$ 2-250 n.a.$^g$ 1$^e$ n.a.$^g$
Swift 8.8 18$^f$ 0.2-10 (XRT) 133.5 $\sim $0.8$^e$ 70
NuSTAR 18 58 3-79 n.a.$^g$ $\sim $0.8$^e$ n.a.$^g$
Notes to Table 28:
a) Mirror effective area.
b) Note that Figs. 11 and 12 do not just show the mirror effective areas but have the EPIC detector responses included as well.
c) Orbital visibility outside the particle-radiation dominated zone.
d) The Chandra High Resolution Camera (HRC) spatial response is well matched to the mirror resolution and the intrinsic on-axis PSF of the HRC is well modelled by a Gaussian with a FWHM of 0.4 arcsec. The spatial resolution for on-axis imaging with the ACIS instrument is limited by the physical size of the CCD pixels (0.492 arcsec) and not the mirrors.
e) Low orbit with Earth occultation.
f) At 1.5 keV.
g) n.av.: not available, n.a.: not applicable.

Some special strengths of XMM-Newton are e.g.:

European Space Agency - XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre