The Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI) is a balloon-borne gamma-ray (0.2-5 MeV) telescope with inherent sensitivity to polarization. COSI's main goal is to study astrophysical sources such as $\gamma$-ray bursts, positron annihilation, Galactic nucleosynthesis, and compact objects. COSI employs a compact Compton telescope design utilizing 12 high-purity cross strip germanium detectors (size: $8\times8\times1.5$ cm$^3$, 2 mm strip pitch).
We require well-benchmarked simulations to simulate the full instrument response used for data analysis, to optimize our analysis algorithms, and to better understand our instrument and the in-flight performance. In order to achieve a reasonable agreement, we have built a comprehensive mass model of the instrument and developed a detailed detector effects engine, which takes into account the individual performance of each strip as well as the characteristics of the overall detector system. We performed detailed Monte-Carlo simulations with Cosima/Geant4, applied the detector effects engine, and benchmarked the results with pre-flight calibrations using radioactive sources. After applying the detector effects engine, the simulations closely resemble the measurements, and the standard calibration, event reconstruction, and imaging pipeline used for measurements can also be applied to the simulations.
In this manuscript, we will describe the detector effects engine, the benchmarking tests with calibrations, and the application to preliminary results from COSI's 46-day balloon flight in 2016.