23 July 2014 The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER)
Author Affiliations +
The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (Piper) is a balloon-borne cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarimeter designed to search for evidence of inflation by measuring the large-angular scale CMB polarization signal. Bicep2 recently reported a detection of B-mode power corresponding to the tensor-to-scalar ratio r = 0:2 on 2 degree scales. If the Bicep2 signal is caused by inflationary gravitational waves (IGWs), then there should be a corresponding increase in B-mode power on angular scales larger than 18 degrees. Piper is currently the only suborbital instrument capable of fully testing and extending the Bicep2 results by measuring the B-mode power spectrum on angular scales ϴ =~0:6° to 90°, covering both the reionization bump and recombination peak, with sensitivity to measure the tensor-to-scalar ratio down to r = 0:007, and four frequency bands to distinguish foregrounds. Piper will accomplish this by mapping 85% of the sky in four frequency bands (200, 270, 350, 600 GHz) over a series of 8 conventional balloon flights from the northern and southern hemispheres. The instrument has background-limited sensitivity provided by fully cryogenic (1.5 K) optics focusing the sky signal onto four 32x40-pixel arrays of time-domain multiplexed Transition-Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers held at 140 mK. Polarization sensitivity and systematic control are provided by front-end Variable- delay Polarization Modulators (VPMs), which rapidly modulate only the polarized sky signal at 3 Hz and allow Piper to instantaneously measure the full Stokes vector (I; Q;U; V ) for each pointing. We describe the Piper instrument and progress towards its first flight.
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Justin Lazear, Justin Lazear, Peter A. R. Ade, Peter A. R. Ade, Dominic Benford, Dominic Benford, Charles L. Bennett, Charles L. Bennett, David T. Chuss, David T. Chuss, Jessie L. Dotson, Jessie L. Dotson, Joseph R. Eimer, Joseph R. Eimer, Dale J. Fixsen, Dale J. Fixsen, Mark Halpern, Mark Halpern, Gene Hilton, Gene Hilton, James Hinderks, James Hinderks, Gary F. Hinshaw, Gary F. Hinshaw, Kent Irwin, Kent Irwin, Christine Jhabvala, Christine Jhabvala, Bradley Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Alan Kogut, Alan Kogut, Luke Lowe, Luke Lowe, Jeff J. McMahon, Jeff J. McMahon, Timothy M. Miller, Timothy M. Miller, Paul Mirel, Paul Mirel, S. Harvey Moseley, S. Harvey Moseley, Samelys Rodriguez, Samelys Rodriguez, Elmer Sharp, Elmer Sharp, Johannes G. Staguhn, Johannes G. Staguhn, Eric R. Switzer, Eric R. Switzer, Carole E. Tucker, Carole E. Tucker, Amy Weston, Amy Weston, Edward J. Wollack, Edward J. Wollack, "The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER)", Proc. SPIE 9153, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VII, 91531L (23 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056806; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056806

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