Aliased power in noise maps

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After exchanging some plots with Raphael, he has pointed out that the noise maps generated for Data Challenge 1 show evidence of aliasing. This can be seen in Figure 1.

  • The black line shows the noise model specified for the data challenge.
  • The blue and orange curves are both calculated from full-sky, nside=512 noise maps (realization 0000 of 95 GHz noise). I used healpy.anafast for power spectrum calculations.
  • The map used for the blue line was generated using synfast with nlmax=2048 (note that aℓm are calculated out to ℓ=4096).
  • For the orange line, I used a map generated from the same aℓm but with nlmax=1535, which is 3*nside - 1.

The blue curve shows a clear excess starting around ℓ = 1100, presumably from aliasing. In contrast, the orange curve rolls off slowly starting at ℓ = 800.

Figure 1: BB N calculated from full-sky, nside=512 maps containing noise corresponding to the 95 GHz channel from Data Challenge 1. Blue and orange curves are calculated from maps with nlmax = 2048 and 1535, respectively.

This aliasing is not a problem for the signal maps (lensed-ΛCDM, Gaussian dust, Gaussian sync), even though they also use nlmax = 2048 because those maps have been smoothed by the instrument beam (8.5 arcmin at 270 GHz). Figure 2 shows the same comparison as Figure 1, except for Gaussian dust at 270 GHz (frequency with the least beam smoothing). In this case, the discrepancy between nlmax = 2048 and 1535 is very small (note the logarithmic y-axis).

Figure 2: BB C calculated from full-sky, nside=512 maps containing Gaussian dust at 270 GHz. Blue and orange curves are calculated from maps with nlmax = 2048 and 1535, respectively.

My conclusion from looking at these spectra is that the choice of nlmax is unlikely to impact r estimates, because it only shows up at ℓ > 1000. However, we have decided to regenerate maps with nlmax = 1024 to avoid problems.

--Cbischoff (talk) 14:40, 30 January 2017 (CST), Updated 02 February 2017