Legacy Archive for Microwave Background Data Analysis (LAMBDA)
The Legacy Archive for Microwave Background Data Analysis (LAMBDA) is a multi-mission NASA center of expertise for cosmic microwave background radiation research. LAMBDA exists to serve the CMB research community, and the greater cosmological research community. In particular, LAMBDA:
- develops and maintains data archives
- develops and maintains data access and analysis tools
- offers scientific expertise on NASA's CMB missions (MAP and COBE)
- carries out data-intensive processing of vital importance to NASA's CMB community
- conducts education and outreach efforts aimed at the general public
The LAMBDA site provides access to many important cosmological data sets through the menu on the left. Many of these menu items are served directly by the LAMBDA system; the remainder are links to sites maintained on other computer systems.
The WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) mission is designed to determine the geometry, content, and evolution of the universe via a 13 arcminute FWHM resolution full sky map of the temperature anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation. The choice of orbit, sky-scanning strategy and instrument/spacecraft design were driven by the goals of uncorrelated pixel noise, minimal systematic errors, multifrequency observations, and accurate calibration. The skymap data products derived from the WMAP observations have 45 times the sensitivity and 33 times the angular resolution of the COBE DMR mission.
The COBE satellite was developed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to measure the diffuse infrared and microwave radiation from the early universe to the limits set by our astrophysical environment. It was launched November 18, 1989 and carried three instruments, a Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) to search for the cosmic infrared background radiation, a Differential Microwave Radiometer (DMR) to map the cosmic radiation sensitively, and a Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) to compare the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background radiation with a precise blackbody.
The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) mission was a collaborative effort by the United States (NASA), the Netherlands (NIVR), and the United Kingdom (SERC). IRAS contained a liquid helium-cooled 0.6 m Ritchey-Chretien telescope. It conducted an all-sky survey at wavelengths ranging from 8 to 120 microns in four broadband photometric channels centered at 12, 25, 60, and 100 microns.
The Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite, was launched on December 5, 1998 and made observations until July 21, 2004. SWAS measured the amount of water and molecular oxygen in interstellar clouds, and also the amounts of carbon monoxide and atomic carbon, which are believed to be major reservoirs of carbon in these clouds.