We report the results of an effort to measure the low-frequency portion of the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, using a balloon-borne instrument called the Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Diffuse Emission (ARCADE). These measurements are to search for deviations from a thermal spectrum that are expected to exist in the CMB as a result of various processes in the early universe. The radiometric temperature was measured at 10 and 30 GHz using a cryogenic open-aperture instrument with no emissive windows. An external blackbody calibrator provides an in situ reference. Systematic errors were greatly reduced by using differential radiometers and cooling all critical components to physical temperatures approximating the antenna temperature of the sky. A linear model is used to compare the radiometer output to a set of thermometers on the instrument. The unmodeled residuals are less than 50 mK peak to peak with a weighted rms of 6 mK. Small corrections are made for the residual emission from the flight train, atmosphere, and foreground Galactic emission. The measured radiometric temperature of the CMB is 2.721+/-0.010 K at 10 GHz and 2.694+/-0.032 K at 30 GHz.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- September 2004
- Cosmology: Cosmic Microwave Background;
- Cosmology: Observations;
- 8 pages including 5 figures. Submitted to The Astrophysical Journal