The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) is a four telescope array designed to characterize relic primordial gravitational waves from in ation and the optical depth to reionization through a measurement of the polarized cosmic microwave background (CMB) on the largest angular scales. The frequencies of the four CLASS telescopes, one at 38 GHz, two at 93 GHz, and one dichroic system at 145/217 GHz, are chosen to avoid spectral regions of high atmospheric emission and span the minimum of the polarized Galactic foregrounds: synchrotron emission at lower frequencies and dust emission at higher frequencies. Low-noise transition edge sensor detectors and a rapid front-end polarization modulator provide a unique combination of high sensitivity, stability, and control of systematics. The CLASS site, at 5200 m in the Chilean Atacama desert, allows for daily mapping of up to 70% of the sky and enables the characterization of CMB polarization at the largest angular scales. Using this combination of a broad frequency range, large sky coverage, control over systematics, and high sensitivity, CLASS will observe the reionization and recombination peaks of the CMB E- and B-mode power spectra. CLASS will make a cosmic variance limited measurement of the optical depth to reionization and will measure or place upper limits on the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r, down to a level of 0.01 (95% C.L.).
The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) experiment aims to map the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at angular scales larger than a few degrees. Operating from Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert of Chile, it will observe over 65% of the sky at 38, 93, 148, and 217 GHz. In this paper we discuss the design, construction, and characterization of the CLASS 38 GHz detector focal plane, the first ever Q-band bolometric polarimeter array.
The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) is an experiment to measure the signature of a gravitationalwave background from inflation in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). CLASS is a multi-frequency array of four telescopes operating from a high-altitude site in the Atacama Desert in Chile. CLASS will survey 70% of the sky in four frequency bands centered at 38, 93, 148, and 217 GHz, which are chosen to straddle the Galactic-foreground minimum while avoiding strong atmospheric emission lines. This broad frequency coverage ensures that CLASS can distinguish Galactic emission from the CMB. The sky fraction of the CLASS survey will allow the full shape of the primordial B-mode power spectrum to be characterized, including the signal from reionization at low ɺ. Its unique combination of large sky coverage, control of systematic errors, and high sensitivity will allow CLASS to measure or place upper limits on the tensor-to-scalar ratio at a level of r = 0:01 and make a cosmic-variance-limited measurement of the optical depth to the surface of last scattering, Ƭ .