Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astronomy
The ESA Planck mission is the third generation (after COBE and WMAP) space experiment dedicated to the measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies. Planck will map the whole CMB sky using two instruments in the focal plane of a 1.5 m off-axis aplanatic telescope. The High Frequency Instrument (HFI) is an array of 52 bolometers in the frequency range 100-857 GHz, while the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) is an array of 11 pseudo-correlation radiometric receivers which continuously compare the sky signal with the reference signal of a blackbody at ~ 4.5 K. The LFI has been tested and calibrated at different levels of integration, i.e. on the single units (feed-horns, OMTs, amplifiers, waveguides, etc.), on each integrated Radiometric Chain Assembly (RCA) and finally on the complete instrument, the Radiometric Array Assembly (RAA). In this paper we focus on some of the data analysis algorithms and methods that have been implemented to estimate the instrument performance and calibration parameters. The paper concludes with the discussion of a custom-designed software package (LIFE) that allows to access the complex data structure produced by the instrument and to estimate the instrument performance and calibration parameters via a fully graphical interface.
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