Now the fun begins

William C. Jones, Assistant Professor of Physics

William C. Jones, Assistant Professor of Physics

Now that SPIDER has finished its flight, the team will spend the next year or more analyzing the collected data.

We will begin with baby steps, piecing all the raw data into a coherent set of calibrated time-ordered data. These data consist of the data from our millimeter-wavelength cameras, which are essentially ‘snapshots’ taken 120 times a second, together with the data from instrumentation dedicated to our attitude reconstruction. These latter data, which consist primarily of GPS fixes, star cameras and laser ring gyroscopes, must be processed together to determine precisely where our instrument was pointing on the sky at the moment each of the ‘snapshots’ was taken. These are the basic ingredients required to make the sensitive polarized images of the sky.

Once this is complete, another layer of analysis will proceed in which we separate the cosmological signal from galactic radio emission, and attempt to further isolate the fingerprint of primordial gravitational waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background.


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