Cosmic Microwave Background Analysis Tools

We plan to develop a complete suite of (CMB)-related software.

Forthcoming astrophysical data sets will be so large that novel analysis techniques must be developed if the data is to be properly exploited. We propose to apply state-of-the-art information science techniques and tools to facilitate the analysis and visualization of large data sets in astrophysics, particularly in cosmology within the area of cosmic microwave background anisotropy studies. This research field is widely considered to represent the future of cosmology, and both NASA and ESA are devoting major resources towards generating sensitive all-sky maps of the cosmic microwave background. However present techniques will be entirely inadequate for the necessary data analysis even on the largest available or projected supercomputers. We adopt a comprehensive approach by addressing all aspects of the analysis and visualization problem, and by assembling a multi- disciplinary team of computer scientists, statisticians, and CMB theory data and analysis experts.

The computational tools that we develop will be based on available scientific programming environments such as IDL or MATLAB where expedient, and will be distributed to the scientific community. The final products of this effort will be documented, as a thoroughly tested, optimized set of publicly-available tools. We expect that these tools will be an integral part of the analysis of future generation CMB anisotropy experiments, including the satellite missions, and that they will be useful in other fields of astrophysics research.

The collaborators on this work come from various disciplines.

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