Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Emory ted Bunn

Second Advisor

Christine Helms


Broadband time-ordered data obtained from telescopes with a wavelength-dependent, asymmetric beam pattern can be used to extract maps at multiple wavelengths from a single scan. This technique is especially useful when collecting data on cosmic phenomena such as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, as it provides the ability to separate the CMB signal from foreground contaminants. We develop a method to determine the optimal linear combinations of wavelengths (“colors”) that can be reconstructed for a given telescope design and the number of colors that are measurable with high signal-to-noise ratio. The optimal colors are found as eigenvectors of a matrix derived from the inverse noise covariance matrix. When the telescope is able to scan the sky isotropically, it is useful to transform to a spherical harmonic basis, in which this matrix has a particularly simple form. We propose using the optimal colors determined from the isotropic case even when the actual scanning pattern is not isotropic (e.g., covers only part of the sky). We perform simulations showing that maps in multiple colors can be reconstructed accurately from both full-sky and partial-sky scans. Although the original motivation for this research comes from mapping the CMB, this method of polychromatic map-making will have broader applications throughout astrophysics.