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A&A Supplement series, Vol. 127, March I 1998, 377-387

Received August 2, 1996; accepted July 1, 1997

Determination of the optimal set of frequency bands for the PLANCK CMBR satellite mission

M.J.D. Linden-Vørnle tex2html_wrap1534 - H.U. Nørgaard-Nielsen tex2html_wrap1536

Send offprint request: M.J.D. Linden-Vørnle

tex2html_wrap1538  Niels Bohr Institute for Astronomy, Physics and Geophysics, Astronomical Observatory, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Kobenhavn O, Denmark
tex2html_wrap1540  Danish Space Research Institute, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Kobenhavn O, Denmark


The PLANCK satellite (previously known as COBRAS/SAMBA) is chosen to be the next medium sized mission in ESAs Horizon 2000 programme. It is intended to observe anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) with a sensitivity and angular resolution which is far better than previous CMBR experiments like NASAs COBE satellite mission. In order to assess PLANCKs ability to retrieve the temperature fluctuations in the presence of contaminating foreground sources and noise, we have performed model calculations based on a single-pixel approach and a non-linear least squares spectral fitting technique.

We find that even worst-case foreground scenarios do not prohibit a measurement accuracy of tex2html_wrap_inline1520. This implies that the above stated accuracy can be achieved over most of the sky and not only in selected areas with low foreground contamination as discussed by Brandt et al. (1994).

We have applied the model calculations to different mission configurations in order to determine the optimal combination of frequency bands. It is shown that only a large frequency coverage allows a sufficiently accurate separation of CMBR anisotropies and foreground signals. Also the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) CMBR mission, selected as one of the NASA MIDEX missions, is tested for its ability to overcome foreground contamination.

keywords: cosmic microwave background -- ISM: general -- space vehicles -- methods: data analysis

Copyright by the European Southern Observatory (ESO)