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5 October 2012 The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER)
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The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER) is a balloon-borne instrument to measure the gravitational wave signature of primordial inflation through its distinctive imprint on the polarization of the cosmic microwave background. PIPER combines cold (1.5 K) optics, 5120 bolometric detectors, and rapid polarization modulation using VPM grids to achieve both high sensitivity and excellent control of systematic errors. A series of flights alternating between northern and southern hemisphere launch sites will produce maps in Stokes I, Q, U, and V parameters at frequencies 200, 270, 350, and 600 GHz (wavelengths 1500, 1100, 850, and 500 μm) covering 85% of the sky. The high sky coverage allows measurement of the primordial B-mode signal in the `reionization bump" at multipole moments l < 10 where the primordial signal may best be distinguished from the cosmological lensing foreground. We describe the PIPER instrument and discuss the current status and expected science returns from the mission.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


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