Publications by Maximilian Abitbol

Foreground-induced biases in CMB polarimeter self-calibration

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 457 (2016) 1796-1803

MH Abitbol, JC Hill, BR Johnson

© 2016 The Authors. Precise polarization measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) require accurate knowledge of the instrument orientation relative to the sky frame used to define the cosmological Stokes parameters. Suitable celestial calibration sources that could be used to measure the polarimeter orientation angle are limited, so current experiments commonly 'self-calibrate.' The self-calibration method exploits the theoretical fact that the EB and TB cross-spectra of the CMB vanish in the standard cosmological model, so any detected EB and TB signals must be due to systematic errors. However, this assumption neglects the fact that polarized Galactic foregrounds in a given portion of the sky may have non-zero EB and TB cross-spectra. If these foreground signals remain in the observations, then they will bias the self-calibrated telescope polarization angle and produce a spurious B-mode signal. In this paper, we estimate the foreground-induced bias for various instrument configurations and then expand the self-calibration formalism to account for polarized foreground signals. Assuming the EB correlation signal for dust is in the range constrained by angular power spectrum measurements from Planck at 353 GHz (scaled down to 150 GHz), then the bias is negligible for high angular resolution experiments, which have access to CMB-dominated high ℓ modes with which to self-calibrate. Low-resolution experiments observing particularly dusty sky patches can have a bias as large as 0.° 5. A miscalibration of this magnitude generates a spurious BB signal corresponding to a tensor-to-scalar ratio of approximately r ~ 2 × 10-3, within the targeted range of planned experiments.

Show full publication list