17 February 2003 A Polarization Sensitive Bolometric Receiver for Observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background
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We have developed a bolometric receiver that is intrinsically sensitive to linear polarization for the purpose of making measurements of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation. The receiver consists of a pair of co-located silicon nitride micromesh absorbers which couple anisotropically to linearly polarized radiation through a corrugated waveguide structure. This system allows background limited, simultaneous measurement of the Stokes I and Q parameters over ~30% bandwidths at frequencies from ~60 to 600 GHz. Since both linear polarizations traverse identical optical paths from the sky to the point of detection, the susceptibility of the system to systematic effects is minimized. The amount of uncorrelated noise between the two polarization senses is limited to the quantum limit of thermal and photon shot noise, while drifts in the relative responsivity to orthogonal polarizations are limited to the effect of non-uniformity in the thin film deposition of the leads and the intrinsic thermistor properties. Devices using NTD Ge thermistors have achieved NEPs of 2•10-17 W/√Hz with 1/f knees below 100mHz at a base temperature of 270 mK. Numerical modelling of the structures has been used to optimize the bolometer geometry and coupling to optics. Comparisons of numerical results and experimental data are made. A description of how the quantities measured by the device can be interpreted in terms of the Stokes parameters is presented. The receiver developed for the Boomerang and Planck HFI focal planes is presented in detail.
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William C. Jones, Ravinder Bhatia, James J. Bock, Andrew E. Lange, "A Polarization Sensitive Bolometric Receiver for Observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background", Proc. SPIE 4855, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy, (17 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.459194; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.459194


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