Abstract:The ESA Planck satellite mission will be launched in 2008. This experiment is aimed at mapping the microwave sky, performing at least two complete sky surveys with an unprecedented combination of sky and frequency coverage, accuracy, stability and sensitivity. Planck is composed of a number of microwave and sub-millimetre detectors that are grouped into a High Frequency Instrument (HFI) and a Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) and cover a frequency range from 30 up to 850 GHz. The LFI Data Processing Centre will be in charge of the processing of ~100MB of compressed data each day for a total amount of 100GB of raw data at the end of the mission.
One of the primary issues for the Data Processing Centre is to define, design and run a complete simulation of the Planck mission to test the data analysis pipelines. The simulation software must mimic the Planck observing procedure and any source of systematic effect. Moreover, it must cover all the aspects of the microwave sky. The simulation pipeline is then a fundamental test for the whole analysis infrastructure. It is the main tool to set the hardware requirements for the data processing computations.