BeyondPlanck digs deep into Planck LFI

The BeyondPlanck collaboration has performed the most detailed analysis of the Planck Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) data to date, leading to a cleaner view of both the early universe and our own Milky Way.

portrait photo of Håvard Tveit Ihle
Håvard Tveit Ihle (UiO), lead author of paper BeyondPlanck VI. Photo: UiO.

In a new paper titled "BeyondPlanck VI. Noise characterization and modelling”, Håvard Tveit Ihle (University of Oslo) and his collaborators have developed a noise model for the ESA's Planck satellite mission that, for the first time, takes into account how the LFI noise properties varies during the four year mission.

Keep the noise down

One of the key aspects of this analysis is a new and detailed model of the instrumental "noise" of the LFI instrument caused by thermal or electrical imperfections within the detectors.

plot of the noise analysis performed by BeyondPlanck coll.
This figure shows the close connection between the temperature fluctuations on board the Planck satellite and the noise properties of the detectors. Credits: BeyondPlanck VI. Noise characterization and modelling.

In general, controlling such imperfections is one of the most fundamental aspects of any modern astronomical experiment, and huge resources are spent every year on developing both instruments and data analysis methods that minimize the impact of such noise.

Towards a new understanding

All previous analyses have assumed that the instrument does not change, but this is not an accurate description of the real data, according to the new results. Further, by combining the new time-dependent noise model with external on-board satellite thermometer data, the BeyondPlanck team has established a fundamentally new understanding of the performance and thermal environment of Planck LFI. This new understanding has in turn allowed them to make better use of the LFI data then ever before, and present new and better maps of the microwave sky to the cosmological community.

The BeyondPlanck - Release Conference

The results based on the scientific paper BeyondPlanck VI. Noise characterization and modelling will be presented at a free online conference on November 18-20 this year.

Welcome to the release conference!

Tags: cosmology, Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), Planck, BeyondPlanck By Håvard Tveit Ihle, Martina D'Angelo
Published Nov. 16, 2020 11:29 AM - Last modified Nov. 16, 2020 2:00 PM