Modelling ground pickup for microwave telescopes

Alexandre E. Adler*, Adriaan J. Duivenvoorden, Jon E. Gudmundsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Microwave telescopes require an ever-increasing control of experimental systematics in their quest to measure the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) to exquisite levels of precision. One important systematic for ground and balloon-borne experiments is ground pickup, where beam sidelobes detect the thermal emission of the much warmer ground while the main beam is scanning the sky. This generates scan-synchronous noise in experiment timestreams, which is difficult to filter out without also deleting some of the signal from the sky. Therefore, efficient modelling of pickup can help guide the design of experiments and of analysis pipelines. In this work, we present an extension to the BEAMCONV algorithm that enables us to generate time-ordered data (TOD) from beam-convolved sky and ground maps simultaneously. We simulate ground pickup for both a ground-based experiment and a telescope attached to a stratospheric balloon. Ground templates for the balloon experiment are obtained by re-projecting satellite maps of the Earth's microwave emission.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy XI
EditorsJonas Zmuidzinas, Jian-Rong Gao
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653610
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy XI 2022 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 17 Jul 202222 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy XI 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Steven Benton, Kevin Crowley, Nadia Dachlythra and Reijo Keskitalo for productive discussions. Alexandre Adler’s participation to this SPIE conference is funded by the Birger and Gurli Grundströms research grant fund.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 SPIE.

Other keywords

  • Beam convolution
  • CMB Telescopes
  • Cosmic Microwave Background
  • Ground Pickup
  • Scan-synchronous noise


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