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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluating observing strategies for the Bam cosmic microwave background anisotropy experiment Borys, Colin James Kelvin


An observing strategy for the Balloon-Borne Anisotropy Measurement (BAM) is chosen by performing simulations on a computer. Several strategies are modeled and the performance is graded by its ability to constrain a parameterized description of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) angular power spectrum. We have chosen a model that is described by a normalization and slope in the area of the power spectrum BAM is sensitive too. We argue that during the next flight of BAM from Palestine Texas, a 20° azimuthal scan centered on the meridian at a declination of 70°, will in six hours of data collection verify anisotropy at scales of a few degrees, and determine whether or not the power spectrum is rising towards an expected Doppler peak at scales of ~ 1°. All of the steps necessary to conduct such an investigation are described in detail. Particular attention is given to developing efficient analysis techniques that make manipulation of the large data sets feasible. This is necessary to conduct Monte-Carlo studies of the instruments' ability to constrain the model parameters. Based on these results, we formulate an objective for the next flight of BAM that includes a detailed measurement of its beam size and shape; these details are necessary to avoid biasing the maximum likelihood fits of the model parameters. Although BAM is chosen as a particular example, the techniques are general enough to be applied to any similar experiment that studies CMB temperature anisotropies.

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