In this paper we discuss the latest developments of the STRIP instrument of the “Large Scale Polarization Explorer” (LSPE) experiment. LSPE is a novel project that combines ground-based (STRIP) and balloon-borne (SWIPE) polarization measurements of the microwave sky on large angular scales to attempt a detection of the “B-modes” of the Cosmic Microwave Background polarization. STRIP will observe approximately 25% of the Northern sky from the “Observatorio del Teide” in Tenerife, using an array of forty-nine coherent polarimeters at 43 GHz, coupled to a 1.5 m fully rotating crossed-Dragone telescope. A second frequency channel with six-elements at 95 GHz will be exploited as an atmospheric monitor. At present, most of the hardware of the STRIP instrument has been developed and tested at sub-system level. System-level characterization, starting in July 2018, will lead STRIP to be shipped and installed at the observation site within the end of the year. The on-site verification and calibration of the whole instrument will prepare STRIP for a 2-years campaign for the observation of the CMB polarization.
In this paper we present the test results of the qualification model (QM) of the LFI instrument, which is being
developed as part of the ESA Planck satellite. In particular we discuss the calibration plan which has defined
the main requirements of the radiometric tests and of the experimental setups. Then we describe how these
requirements have been implemented in the custom-developed cryo-facilities and present the main results. We
conclude with a discussion of the lessons learned for the testing of the LFI Flight Model (FM).