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COBE Differential Microwave Radiometers - Instrument design and implementation
Smoot, G.; Bennett, C.; Weber, R.; Maruschak, J.; Ratliff, R.; Janssen, M.; Chitwood, J.; Hilliard, L.; Lecha, M.; Mills, R.; Patschke, R.; Richards, C.; Backus, C.; Mather, J.; Hauser, M.; Weiss, R.; Wilkinson, D.; Gulkis, S.; Boggess, N.; Cheng, E.; Kelsall, T.; Lubin, P.; Meyer, S.; Moseley, H.; Murdock, T.; Shafer, R.; Silverberg, R.; Wright, E.
AA(California, University, Berkeley), AB(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AC(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AD(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AE(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AF(JPL, Pasadena, CA)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 360, Sept. 10, 1990, p. 685-695. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
Spacecraft Instrumentation
NASA/STI Keywords:
Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite, Microwave Radiometers, Relic Radiation, Satellite-Borne Instruments, Angular Distribution, Brightness Temperature, Dicke Radiometers, Radiation Distribution, Satellite Antennas, Satellite Orbits
Bibliographic Code:


Differential Microwave Radiometers (DMRs) at frequencies of 31.5, 53, and 90 GHz have been designed and built to map the large angular scale variations in the brightness temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation. The instrument is being flown aboard NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, launched on November 18, 1989. Each receiver input is switched between two antennas pointing 60 deg apart on the sky. The satellite is in near-polar orbit with the orbital plane precessing at 1 deg per day, causing the beams to scan the entire sky in 6 months. In 1 year of observation, the instruments are capable of mapping the sky to an rms sensitivity of 0.1 mK per 7 deg field of view. The mission and the instrument have been carefully designed to minimize the need for systematic corrections to the data.

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