The Primordial Inflation Polarization ExploreR (PIPER) is a balloon-borne instrument optimized to measure the polarization of the CMB at large angular scales. It will map 85% of the sky over a series of conventional balloon flights from the Northern and Southern hemispheres, measuring the B-mode polarization power spectrum over a range of multipoles from 2-300 covering both the reionization bump and the recombination peak, with sensitivity to measure the tensor-to-scalar ratio down to r = 0.007. PIPER will observe in four frequency bands centered at 200, 270, 350, and 600 GHz to characterize dust foregrounds. The instrument has background-limited sensitivity provided by fully cryogenic (1.7 K) optics focusing the sky signal onto kilo-pixel arrays of time-domain multiplexed Transition-Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers held at 100 mK. Polarization sensitivity and systematic control are provided by front-end Variable-delay Polarization Modulators (VPMs). PIPER had its engineering ight in October 2017 from Fort Sumner, New Mexico. This papers outlines the major components in the PIPER system discussing the conceptual design as well as specific choices made for PIPER. We also report on the results of the engineering flight, looking at the functionality of the payload systems, particularly VPM, as well as pointing out areas of improvement.
The Advanced Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter is an upgraded receiver for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, which has begun making measurements of the small angular scale polarization anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background using the first of four new multichroic superconducting detector arrays. Here, we review all details of the optimization and characterization of this first array, which features 2012 AlMn transition- edge sensor bolometers operating at 150 and 230 GHz. We present critical temperatures, thermal conductivities, saturation powers, time constants, and sensitivities for the array. The results show high uniformity across the 150 mm wafer and good performance in the field.
The Advanced ACTPol (AdvACT) upgrade to the Atacama Cosmology Telescope features large arrays of mul- tichroic pixels consisting of two orthogonal-polarization pairs of superconducting bolometers at two observing frequency bands. We present measurements of the detector properties and noise data in a subset of a fielded multichroic array of AlMn transition-edge sensor (TES) detectors. In this array, the distribution of critical temperature <i>T</i><sub>c</sub> across detectors appears uniform at the percent level. The measured noise-equivalent power (NEP) distributions over ∼1200 detectors are consistent with expectations. We find median NEPs of 4.0×10<sup>-17</sup> √Hz for low-band detectors and 6.2x10<sup>-17</sup>√Hz for high-band detectors under covered-window telescope test conditions with optical loading comparable to observing with precipitable water vapor ∼ 0.5 mm. Lastly, we show the estimated detector optical efficiency, and demonstrate the ability to perform optical characterization over hundreds of detectors at once using a cryogenic blackbody source.
We report on the development of scalable prototype microwave kinetic inductance detector (MKID) arrays tai- lored for future multi-kilo-pixel experiments that are designed to simultaneously characterize the polarization properties of both the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and Galactic dust emission. These modular arrays are composed of horn-coupled, polarization-sensitive MKIDs, and each pixel has four detectors: two polariza- tions in two spectral bands between 125 and 280 GHz. A horn is used to feed each array element, and a planar orthomode transducer, composed of two waveguide probe pairs, separates the incoming light into two linear po- larizations. Diplexers composed of resonant-stub band-pass filters separate the radiation into 125 to 170 GHz and 190 to 280 GHz pass bands. The millimeter-wave power is ultimately coupled to a hybrid co-planar waveguide microwave kinetic inductance detector using a novel, broadband circuit developed by our collaboration. Elec- tromagnetic simulations show the expected absorption efficiency of the detector is approximately 90%. Array fabrication will begin in the summer of 2016.
ACTPol is the polarization-sensitive receiver on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. ACTPol enables sensitive millimeter wavelength measurements of the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at arcminute angular scales. These measurements are designed to explore the process of cosmic structure formation, constrain or determine the sum of the neutrino masses, probe dark energy, and provide a foundation for a host of other cosmological tests. We present an overview of the first season of ACTPol observations focusing on the optimization and calibration of the first detector array as well as detailing the on-sky performance.
Low-loss lenses are required for submillimeter astronomical applications, such as instrumentation for CCAT, a 25 m diameter telescope to be built at an elevation of 18,400 ft in Chile. Silicon is a leading candidate for dielectric lenses due to its low transmission loss and high index of refraction; however, the latter can lead to large reflection losses. Additionally, large diameter lenses (up to 40 cm), with substantial curvature present a challenge for fabrication of antireflection coatings. Three anti-reflection coatings are considered: a deposited dielectric coating of Parylene C, fine mesh structures cut with a dicing saw, and thin etched silicon layers (fabricated with deep reactive ion etching) for bonding to lenses. Modeling, laboratory measurements, and practicalities of fabrication for the three coatings are presented and compared. Measurements of the Parylene C anti-reflection coating were found to be consistent with previous studies and can be expected to result in a 6% transmission loss for each interface from 0.787 to 0.908 THz. The thin etched silicon layers and fine mesh structure anti-reflection coatings were designed and fabricated on test silicon wafers and found to have reflection losses less than 1% at each interface from 0.787 to 0.908 THz. The thin etched silicon layers are our preferred method because of high transmission efficiency while having an intrinsically faster fabrication time than fine structures cut with dicing saws, though much work remains to adapt the etched approach to curved surfaces and optics < 4" in diameter unlike the diced coatings.
MUSTANG 2 is a 223 element focal plane that operates between 75 and 105 GHz on the 100 meter Green Bank Telescope. It shares many of the science goals of its predecessor, MUSTANG, but will have fifteen times the sensitivity and five times the field-of-view. Angular scales from 900 to 60 will be recovered with high fidelity providing a unique overlap between high resolution instruments such as ALMA and lower resolution single dish telescopes such as ACT or SPT. Individual TES bolometers are placed behind feedhorns spaced by 1.9λ f and are read out using a microwave SQUID multiplexing system.