POLARBEAR is a cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization experiment located in the Atacama desert in Chile. The science goals of the POLARBEAR project are to do a deep search for CMB B-mode polarization created by inflationary gravitational waves, as well as characterize the CMB B-mode signal from gravitational lensing. POLARBEAR-1 started observations in 2012, and the POLARBEAR team has published a series of results from its first two seasons of observations, including the first measurement of a non-zero B-mode polarization angular power spectrum, measured at sub-degree scales where the dominant signal is gravitational lensing of the CMB. The Simons Array expands POLARBEAR to include an additional two telescopes with next-generation POLARBEAR-2 multi-chroic receivers, observing at 95, 150, 220, and 270 GHz.
The POLARBEAR-2A focal plane has 7,588 transition-edge sensor bolometers, read out with frequency-division multiplexing, with 40 frequency channels within the readout bandwidth of 1.5 to 4.5 MHz. The frequency channels are defined by a low-loss lithographed aluminum spiral inductor and interdigitated capacitor in series with each bolometer, creating a resonant frequency for each channel's unique voltage bias and current readout. Characterization of the readout includes measuring resonant peak locations and heights and fitting to a circuit model both above and below the bolometer superconducting transition temperature. This information is used determine the optimal detector bias frequencies and characterize stray impedances which may affect bolometer operation and stability. The detector electrical characterization includes measurements of the transition properties by sweeping in temperature and in voltage bias, measurements of the bolometer saturation power, as well as measuring and removing any biases introduced by the readout circuit. We present results from the characterization, tuning, and operation of the fully integrated focal plane and readout for the first POLARBEAR-2 receiver, POLARBEAR-2A, during its pre-deployment integration run.