Publication archive

Publication archive

We present precise Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) effect measurements in the direction of 62 nearby galaxy clusters (z <0.5) detected at high signal-to-noise in the first Planck all-sky dataset. The sample spans approximately a decade in total mass, 2 x 1014 Mo< M500<2 x 1015 Mo, where M500 is the mass corresponding to a total density contrast of 500. Combining these high quality Planck measurements with deep XMM-Newton X-ray data, we investigate the relations between DA2 Y500, the integrated Compton parameter due to the SZ effect, and the X-ray-derived gas mass Mg,500, temperature TX, luminosity LX,500, SZ signal analogue YX,500 = Mg,500 x TX, and total mass M500. After correction for the effect of selection bias on the scaling relations, we find results that are in excellent agreement with both X-ray predictions and recently-published ground-based data derived from smaller samples. The present data yield an exceptionally robust, high-quality local reference, and illustrate Planck's unique capabilities for all-sky statistical studies of galaxy clusters.
Published: 01 December 2011
We present the first all-sky sample of galaxy clusters detected blindly by the Planck satellite through the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) effect from its six highest frequencies. This early SZ (ESZ) sample is comprised of 189 candidates, which have a high signal-to-noise ratio ranging from 6 to 29. Its high reliability (purity above 95%) is further ensured by an extensive validation process based on Planck internal quality assessments and by external cross-identification and follow-up observations. Planck provides the first measured SZ signal for about 80% of the 169 previously-known ESZ clusters. Planck furthermore releases 30 new cluster candidates, amongst which 20 meet the ESZ signal-to-noise selection criterion. At the submission date, twelve of the 20 ESZ candidates were confirmed as new clusters, with eleven confirmed using XMM-Newton snapshot observations, most of them with disturbed morphologies and low luminosities. The ESZ clusters are mostly at moderate redshifts (86% with z below 0.3) and span more than a decade in mass, up to the rarest and most massive clusters with masses above 1 × 1015 Mo.
Published: 01 December 2011

A brief description of the methodology of construction, contents and usage of the Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (ERCSC), including the Early Cold Cores (ECC) and the Early Sunyaev-Zeldovich (ESZ) cluster catalogue is provided. The catalogue is based on data that consist of mapping the entire sky once and 60% of the sky a second time by Planck, thereby comprising the first high sensitivity radio/submillimetre observations of the entire sky. A Monte-Carlo algorithm based on the injection and extraction of artificial sources into the Planck maps was implemented to select reliable sources among all extracted candidates such that the cumulative reliability of the catalogue is >=90%. The 10sigma photometric flux density limit of the catalogue at |b|>30 deg is 0.49, 1.0, 0.67, 0.5, 0.33, 0.28, 0.25, 0.47 and 0.82 Jy at each of the nine frequencies between 30 and 857 GHz. Sources which are up to a factor of ~2 fainter than this limit, and which are present in "clean" regions of the Galaxy where the sky background due to emission from the interstellar medium is low, are included in the ERCSC if they meet the high reliability criterion. The Planck ERCSC sources have known associations to stars with dust shells, stellar cores, radio galaxies, blazars, infrared luminous galaxies and Galactic interstellar medium features. A significant fraction of unclassified sources are also present in the catalogs. In addition, two early release catalogs that contain 915 cold molecular cloud core candidates and 189 SZ cluster candidates that have been generated using multi-frequency algorithms are presented. The entire source list, with more than 15000 unique sources, is ripe for follow-up characterisation with Herschel, ATCA, VLA, SOFIA, ALMA and other ground-based observing facilities.

Published: 01 December 2011
We describe the processing of the 336 billion raw data samples from the High Frequency Instrument (HFI) which we performed to produce six temperature maps from the first 295 days of Planck-HFI survey data. These maps provide an accurate rendition of the sky emission at 100, 143, 217, 353, 545 and 857 GHz with an angular resolution ranging from 9.9 to 4.4'. The white noise level is around 1.5 microK degree or less in the 3 main CMB channels (100-217 GHz). The photometric accuracy is better than 2% at frequencies between 100 and 353 GHz and around 7% at the two highest frequencies. The maps created by the HFI Data Processing Centre reach our goals in terms of sensitivity, resolution, and photometric accuracy. They are already sufficiently accurate and well-characterised to allow scientific analyses which are presented in an accompanying series of early papers. At this stage, HFI data appears to be of high quality and we expect that with further refinements of the data processing we should be able to achieve, or exceed, the science goals of the Planck project.
Published: 01 December 2011
We describe the processing of data from the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) used in production of the Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (ERCSC). In particular, we discuss the steps involved in reducing the data from telemetry packets to cleaned, calibrated, time-ordered data (TOD) and frequency maps. Data are continuously calibrated using the modulation of the temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation induced by the motion of the spacecraft. Noise properties are estimated from TOD from which the sky signal has been removed using a generalized least square map-making algorithm. Measured 1/f noise knee-frequencies range from ~100 mHz at 30 GHz to a few tens of mHz at 70GHz. A destriping code (Madam) is employed to combine radiometric data and pointing information into sky maps, minimizing the variance of correlated noise. Noise covariance matrices required to compute statistical uncertainties on LFI and Planck products are also produced. Main beams are estimated down to the ~ -10dB level using Jupiter transits, which are also used for geometrical calibration of the focal plane.
Published: 01 December 2011
The Planck High Frequency Instrument (HFI) is designed to measure the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background and Galactic foregrounds in six ~30% bands centered at 100, 143, 217, 353, 545, and 857 GHz at an angular resolution of 10' (100 GHz), 7' (143 GHz), and 5' (217 GHz and higher). HFI has been operating flawlessly since launch on 14 May 2009, with the bolometers reaching 100 mK the first week of July. The settings of the readout electronics, including bolometer bias currents, that optimize HFI's noise performance on orbit are nearly the same as the ones chosen during ground testing. Observations of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn have confirmed that the optical beams and the time responses of the detection chains are in good agreement with the predictions of physical optics modeling and pre-launch measurements. The Detectors suffer from a high flux of cosmic rays due to historically low levels of solar activity. As a result of the redundancy of Planck's observation strategy, theremoval of a few percent of data contaminated by glitches does not significantly affect the instrumental sensitivity. The cosmic ray flux represents a significant and variable heat load on the sub-Kelvin stage. Temporal variation and the inhomogeneous distribution of the flux results in thermal fluctuations that are a probable source of low frequency noise. The removal of systematic effects in the time ordered data provides a signal with an average noise equivalent power that is 70% of the goal in the 0.6-2.5 Hz range. This is slightly higher than was achieved during the pre-launch characterization but better than predicted in the early phases of the project. The improvement over the goal is a result of the low level of instrumental background loading achieved by the optical and thermal design of the HFI.
Published: 01 December 2011
The scientific performance of the Planck Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) after one year of in-orbit operation is presented. We describe the main optical parameters and discuss photometric calibration, white noise sensitivity, and noise properties. A preliminary evaluation of the impact of the main systematic effects is presented. For each of the performance parameters, we outline the methods used to obtain them from the flight data and provide a comparison with pre-launch ground assessments, which are essentially confirmed in flight.
Published: 01 December 2011
The performance of the Planck instruments in space is enabled by their low operating temperatures, 20 K for LFI and 0.1 K for HFI, achieved through a combination of passive radiative cooling and three active mechanical coolers. The scientific requirement for very broad frequency coverage led to two detector technologies with widely different temperature and cooling needs. Active coolers could satisfy these needs; a helium cryostat, as used by previous cryogenic space missions (IRAS, COBE, ISO, Spitzer, AKARI), could not. Radiative cooling is provided by three V-groove radiators and a large telescope baffle. The active coolers are a hydrogen sorption cooler (<20 K), a 4He Joule-Thomson cooler (4.7 K), and a 3He-4He dilution cooler (1.4 K and 0.1 K). The flight system was at ambient temperature at launch and cooled in space to operating conditions. The HFI bolometer plate reached 93 mK on 3 July 2009, 50 days after launch. The solar panel always faces the Sun, shadowing the rest of Planck, andoperates at a mean temperature of 384 K. At the other end of the spacecraft, the telescope baffle operates at 42.3 K and the telescope primary mirror operates at 35.9 K. The temperatures of key parts of the instruments are stabilized by both active and passive methods. Temperature fluctuations are driven by changes in the distance from the Sun, sorption cooler cycling and fluctuations in gas-liquid flow, and fluctuations in cosmic ray flux on the dilution and bolometer plates. These fluctuations do not compromise the science data.
Published: 01 December 2011

The European Space Agency's Planck satellite was launched on 14 May 2009, and has been surveying the sky stably and continuously since 13 August 2009. Its performance is well in line with expectations, and it will continue to gather scientific data until the end of its cryogenic lifetime. We give an overview of the history of Planck in its first year of operations, and describe some of the key performance aspects of the satellite. This paper is part of a package submitted in conjunction with Planck's Early Release Compact Source Catalogue, the first data product based on Planck to be released publicly. The package describes the scientific performance of the Planck payload, and presents results on a variety of astrophysical topics related to the sources included in the Catalogue, as well as selected topics on diffuse emission.

Published: 01 December 2011
The Cosmic Microwave Background fluctuations provide a powerful probe of the dark ages of the universe through the imprint of the secondary anisotropies associated with the reionization of the universe and the growth of structure. We review the relation between the secondary anisotropies and the primary anisotropies that are directly generated by quantum fluctuations in the very early universe. The physics of secondary fluctuations is described, with emphasis on the ionization history and the evolution of structure. We discuss the different signatures arising from the secondary effects in terms of their induced temperature fluctuations, polarization and statistics. The secondary anisotropies are being actively pursued at present, and we review the future and current observational status.
Published: 02 May 2008

This A&A issue features 13 articles describing the pre-flight status of the European Space Agency Planck mission, launched together with the Herschel satellite on 14 May 2009. The Planck mission is designed to image the anisotropies of the cosmic background radiation field over the whole sky, with unprecedented sensitivity and angular resolution, as well as a wide frequency range. As a byproduct of that main goal, it will simultaneously address a wide range of galactic and extragalactic science. The mission involves more than four hundred scientists, who are currently working on data processing, calibration, and data analysis.

The satellite is scheduled to continuously acquire high-quality science data until the end of 2011. An early release of the compact source catalogue will be delivered in January 2011, together with a small set of science papers related to foreground astrophysical sources. The first major cosmology results will be delivered in December 2012.

In this special feature, the telescope's optical system and the design, ground calibration, and performance of the Planck lowand high-frequency instruments are described in detail.

Published: 16 September 2010
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveals a diffuse inverse Compton (IC) signal in the inner Galaxy with a similar spatial morphology to the microwave haze observed by WMAP, supporting the synchrotron interpretation of the microwave signal. Using spatial templates, we regress out pi^0 gammas, as well as IC and bremsstrahlung components associated with known soft-synchrotron counterparts. We find a significant gamma-ray excess toward the Galactic center with a spectrum that is significantly harder than other sky components and is most consistent with IC from a hard population of electrons. The morphology and spectrum are consistent with it being the IC counterpart to the electrons which generate the microwave haze seen at WMAP frequencies. In addition, the implied electron spectrum is hard; electrons accelerated in supernova shocks in the disk which then diffuse a few kpc to the haze region would have a softer spectrum. We describe the full-sky Fermi maps used in this analysis and make them available for download.
Published: 11 July 2010

A&A doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912891

We describe the optical design and optimisation of the Low Frequency Instrument, one of two instruments onboard the Planck satellite, which will survey the cosmic microwave background with unprecedented accuracy. The LFI covers the 30 - 70 GHz frequency range with an array of cryogenic radiometers. Stringent optical requirements on angular resolution, sidelobes, main beam symmetry, polarization purity, and feed orientation have been achieved. The optimisation process was carried out by assuming an ideal telescope according to the Planck design and by using both physical optics and multi-reflector geometrical theory of diffraction. This extensive study led to the flight design of the feed horns, their characteristics, arrangement, and orientation, while taking into account the opto-mechanical constraints imposed by complex interfaces in the Planck focal surface.

Published: 10 July 2010

A&A doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912837

This paper provides an overview of the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) programme within the ESA Planck mission. The LFI instrument has been developed to produce high precision maps of the microwave sky at frequencies in the range 27-77 GHz, below the peak of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation spectrum. The scientific goals are described, ranging from fundamental cosmology to Galactic and extragalactic astrophysics. The instrument design and development are outlined, together with the model philosophy and testing strategy. The instrument is presented in the context of the Planck mission. The LFI approach to ground and inflight calibration is described. We also describe the LFI ground segment. We present the results of a number of tests demonstrating the capability of the LFI data processing centre (DPC) to properly reduce and analyse LFI flight data, from telemetry information to calibrated and cleaned time ordered data, sky maps at each frequency (in temperature and polarization), component emission maps (CMB and diffuse foregrounds), catalogs for various classes of sources (the Early Release Compact Source Catalogue and the Final Compact Source Catalogue). The organization of the LFI consortium is briefly presented as well as the role of the core team in data analysis and scientific exploitation. All tests carried out on the LFI flight model demonstrate the excellent performance of the instrument and its various subunits. The data analysis pipeline has been tested and its main steps verified. In the first three months after launch, the commissioning, calibration, performance, and verification phases will be completed, after which Planck will begin its operational life, in which LFI will have an integral part.

Published: 10 July 2010

A&A doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912853

In this paper we present the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI), designed and developed as part of the Planck space mission, the ESA programme dedicated to precision imaging of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Planck-LFI will observe the full sky in intensity and polarisation in three frequency bands centred at 30, 44 and 70 GHz, while higher frequencies (100-850 GHz) will be covered by the HFI instrument. The LFI is an array of microwave radiometers based on state-of-the-art indium phosphide cryogenic HEMT amplifiers implemented in a differential system using blackbody loads as reference signals. The front end is cooled to 20K for optimal sensitivity and the reference loads are cooled to 4K to minimise low-frequency noise. We provide an overview of the LFI, discuss the leading scientific requirements, and describe the design solutions adopted for the various hardware subsystems. The main drivers of the radiometric, optical, and thermal design are discussed, including the stringent requirements on sensitivity, stability, and rejection of systematic effects. Further details on the key instrument units and the results of ground calibration are provided in a set of companion papers.

Published: 10 July 2010

A&A doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200913039

The Planck High Frequency Instrument, HFI, has been designed to allow a clear unobscured view of the CMB sky through an off-axis Gregorian telescope. The prime science target is to measure the polarized anisotropy of the CMB with a sensitivity of 1 part in 106 with a maximum spatial resolution of 5 arcmin (Cl ~ 3000) in four spectral bands with two further high-frequency channels measuring total power for foreground removal. These requirements place critical constraints on both the telescope configuration and the receiver coupling and require precise determination of the spectral and spatial characteristics at the pixel level, whilst maintaining control of the polarisation. To meet with the sensitivity requirements, the focal plane needs to be cooled with the optics at a few Kelvin and detectors at 100 mK. To limit inherent instrumental thermal emission and difraction effects, there is no vacuum window, so the detector feedhorns view the telescope secondary directly. This requires that the instrument is launched warm with the cooler chain only being activated during its cruise to L2. Here we present the novel optical configuration designed to meet with all the above criteria.

Published: 10 July 2010

A&A doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912849

We present the calibration and scientific performance parameters of the Planck Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) measured during the ground cryogenic test campaign. These parameters characterise the instrument response and constitute our optimal pre-launch knowledge of the LFI scientific performance. The LFI shows excellent 1/f stability and rejection of instrumental systematic effects; its measured noise performance shows that LFI is the most sensitive instrument of its kind. The calibration parameters will be updated during flight operations until the end of the mission.

Published: 10 July 2010

A&A doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912999

Planck is a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite, launched in May 2009, which will map the Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropies in intensity and polarisation with unprecedented detail and sensitivity. It will also provide full-sky maps of astrophysical foregrounds. An accurate knowledge of the telescope beam patterns is an essential element for a correct analysis of the acquired astrophysical data.We present a detailed description of the optical design of the High Frequency Instrument (HFI) together with some of the optical performances measured during the calibration campaigns.We report on the evolution of the knowledge of the pre-launch HFI beam patterns when coupled to ideal telescope elements, and on their significance for the HFI data analysis procedure.

Published: 10 July 2010

A&A doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912975

Context. The High Frequency Instrument (HFI) is one of the two focal instruments of the Planck mission. It will observe the whole sky in six bands in the 100 GHz - 1 THz range.
Aims. The HFI instrument is designed to measure the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with a sensitivity limited only by fundamental sources: the photon noise of the CMB itself and the residuals left after the removal of foregrounds. The two high frequency bands will provide full maps of the submillimetre sky, featuring mainly extended and point source foregrounds. Systematic effects must be kept at negligible levels or accurately monitored so that the signal can be corrected. This paper describes the HFI design and its characteristics deduced from ground tests and calibration.
Methods. The HFI instrumental concept and architecture are feasible only by pushing new techniques to their extreme capabilities, mainly: (i) bolometers working at 100 mK and absorbing the radiation in grids, (ii) a dilution cooler providing 100 mK in microgravity conditions, (iii) a new type of AC biased readout electronics and (iv) optical channels using devices inspired from radio and infrared techniques.
Results. The Planck-HFI instrument performance exceeds requirements for sensitivity and control of systematic effects. During ground-based calibration and tests, it was measured at instrument and system levels to be close to or better than the goal specification.

Published: 10 July 2010

A&A doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912911

Planck is a scientific satellite that represents the next milestone in space-based research related to the cosmic microwave background, and in many other astrophysical fields. Planck was launched on 14 May of 2009 and is now operational. The uncertainty in the optical response of its detectors is a key factor allowing Planck to achieve its scientific objectives. More than a decade of analysis and measurements have gone into achieving the required performances. In this paper, we describe the main aspects of the Planck optics that are relevant to Planck science, and the estimated in-flight performance, based on the knowledge available at the time of launch. We also briefly describe the impact of the major systematic effects of optical origin, and the concept of in-flight optical calibration. Detailed discussions of related areas are provided in accompanying papers.

Published: 10 July 2010
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