Optimizing observing patterns in cosmic microwave background radiation anisotropy experiments

R. K. Schaefer, L. Piccirillo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We consider several factors concerning the design of observing strategies in cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy experiments. First we consider the number of independent points on the sky one should observe given a fixed observing time. Given an assumed level of sky temperature fluctuations σ5ky and the presence of instrumental noise s in units of K s1/2 and a total observing time tobs, we find that there is an optimum number of points in the sky to maximize the confidence level of a detection. This number is a function of the signal to noise ratio R2 = σ2sky tobs/s2. We verify this analytical result with a Monte Carlo simulation, which also includes the correlation between different positions in the sky. Furthermore, using an n = 1 spectrum of Gaussian fluctuations, we show that arranging the observing patterns along a (great) circle, a raster scan, or a randomized pattern yields results which are indistinguishable in Monte Carlo simulations. © 1996. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)553-559
    Number of pages6
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


    • Cosmic microwave background
    • Methods: Observational
    • Methods: Statistical


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