This document is designed to be the starting point for XMM-Newton users in the search for information on the instrumentation on board the satellite. Users working with a printed (postscript or PDF) version of this document, please note that the online XMM-Newton Users Handbook (UHB) is full of links to other components of our web-based information system (and other, external, servers). Also, most of the figures are colour based and some do not reproduce well in black and white. Various appendices also provide introductions and links to other online services of the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre (SOC) and the Survey Science Centre (SSC).
The XMM-Newton UHB is primarily intended to serve as a proposal preparation document, based on which potential XMM-Newton users will be able to assess the technical feasibility of their planned observations and the expected data quality. Information about the procedure to submit proposals is given in the current version of the Policies and Procedures.
In addition, the UHB provides an overview of XMM-Newton data calibration and analysis (the Science Analysis Software, SAS) mainly specifying links to related documents for further reading.
This version of the UHB represents the best current understanding of XMM-Newton at the time of release based on acquired experience in-orbit with the satellite and the instruments. It is therefore more complete and accurate than previous versions which should be discarded.