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The Cosmic Microwave Background Sky Demo

The CMB Sky demo is a technology showcase demonstrating the interplay between different technologies. In one scenario a path through the multi-dimensional cosmological parameter space is prescribed via a set of way points. A sampling point generator follows the path stopping a number of times on its way. At each stop the ProC starts a workflow with a CMB-simulation, which eventually produces an image of the CMB-sky as it will be observed by the Planck satellite. These images may be combined into a movie illustrating in an intuitive fashion how different cosmologies (characterized by different cosmological parameter sets) would produce different CMB-skies. By comparing the actual observation with a number of simulations, astrophysicists may find the best fitting set of cosmological parameters.

Even in the simplest cosmological setting and when excluding foreground objects, each simulation takes of the order of half a minute. Since the individual simulation workflows are independent, they may all be executed in parallel. The power of the ProC + GAT was shown in several trials kindly supported by the TU Dortmund, where up to 200 cores were working in parallel each generating an image of the CMB-sky.

Figure: An image of the Cosmic Microwave Background sky as it will be observed by the future ESA Planck Surveyor satellite. This image was produced during a CMB Sky demo run, using the Planck LevelS simulation package. The CMB has a temperature of 2.7 Kelvin, and the image displays temperature variations on the level of 10^-5.