Journal Article

Forecast of B-mode detection at large scales in the presence of noise and foregrounds

A. Bonaldi and S. Ricciardi

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 414, issue 1, pages 615-620
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Forecast of B-mode detection at large scales in the presence of noise and foregrounds

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We investigate the detectability of the primordial cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization B-mode power spectrum on large scales in the presence of instrumental noise and realistic foreground contamination. We have worked out a method to estimate the errors on component separation and to propagate them up to the power spectrum estimation. The performance of our method is illustrated by applying it to the instrumental specifications of the Planck satellite and to the proposed configuration for the next-generation CMB polarization experiment COrE. We demonstrate that a proper component separation step is required in order to achieve the detection of B-modes on large scales and that the final sensitivity to B-modes of a given experiment is determined by a delicate balance between the noise level and the residual foregrounds, which depend on the set of frequencies exploited in the CMB reconstruction, on the signal-to-noise ratio of each frequency map and on our ability to correctly model the spectral behaviour of the foreground components. We have produced a flexible software tool that allows a comparison of performances on B-mode detection of different instrumental specifications (choice of frequencies, noise level at each frequency, etc.) as well as of different proposed approaches to component separation.

Keywords: methods: data analysis; cosmic background radiation; cosmological parameters

Journal Article.  4666 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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