REU Project ID 1.1

Cosmic microwave background: Analysis of data from the South Pole Telescope

Prof. Bill Holzapfel
Satellite at the South Pole

Students will be engaged in the analysis of data from the South Pole Telescope (SPT). The SPT is a 10-meter dish located at the South Pole which is currently mapping Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) with an unprecedented combination of resolution and sensitivity.  We have recently discovered that emission from some satellites can produce rare detectable signals in the data that we would like to robustly remove.

The successful REU applicant will correlate signals in the SPT data with catalogs of satellite positions and orbits to identify the satellites that are detectable and mask their trajectories from the data. This work has critical applications to the next generation of CMB telescopes that will have to contend with an increasingly crowded sky.