Six Differential Microwave Radiometers (DMR) on COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) measure the large-angular-scale isotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at 31.5, 53, and 90 GHz. Quality assurance software analyzes the daily telemetry from the spacecraft to ensure that the instrument is operating correctly and that the data are not corrupted. Quality assurance for DMR poses challenging requirements. The data are differential, so a single bad point can affect a large region of the sky, yet the CMB isotropy requires lengthy integration times (greater than 1 year) to limit potential CMB anisotropies. Celestial sources (with the exception of the moon) are not, in general, visible in the raw differential data. A 'quicklook' software system was developed that, in addition to basic plotting and limit-checking, implements a collection of data tests as well as long-term trending. Some of the key capabilities include the following: (1) stability analysis showing how well the data RMS averages down with increased data; (2) a Fourier analysis and autocorrelation routine to plot the power spectrum and confirm the presence of the 3 mK 'cosmic' dipole signal; (3) binning of the data against basic spacecraft quantities such as orbit angle; (4) long-term trending; and (5) dipole fits to confirm the spacecraft attitude azimuth angle.
COMPUTER PROGRAMMING AND SOFTWARE
NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard Visiting Scientist Program for the Space and Earth Sciences Directorate; 1 p