The SPTpol camera is a dichroic polarimetric receiver at 90 and 150 GHz. Deployed in January 2012 on the South Pole Telescope (SPT), SPTpol is looking for faint polarization signals in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The camera consists of 180 individual Transition Edge Sensor (TES) polarimeters at 90 GHz and seven 84-polarimeter camera modules (a total of 588 polarimeters) at 150 GHz. We present the design, dark characterization, and in-lab optical properties of the 150 GHz camera modules. The modules consist of photolithographed arrays of TES polarimeters coupled to silicon platelet arrays of corrugated feedhorns, both of which are fabricated at NIST-Boulder. In addition to mounting hardware and RF shielding, each module also contains a set of passive readout electronics for digital frequency-domain multiplexing. A single module, therefore, is fully functional as a miniature focal plane and can be tested independently. Across the modules tested before deployment, the detectors average a critical temperature of 478 mK, normal resistance RN of 1.2Ω , unloaded saturation power of 22.5 pW, (detector-only) optical efficiency of ~ 90%, and have electrothermal time constants < 1 ms in transition.
The SPTpol camera is a two-color, polarization-sensitive bolometer receiver, and was installed on the 10 meter South Pole Telescope in January 2012. SPTpol is designed to study the faint polarization signals in the Cosmic Microwave Background, with two primary scientific goals. One is to constrain the tensor-to-scalar ratio of perturbations in the primordial plasma, and thus constrain the space of permissible in inflationary models. The other is to measure the weak lensing effect of large-scale structure on CMB polarization, which can be used to constrain the sum of neutrino masses as well as other growth-related parameters. The SPTpol focal plane consists of seven 84-element monolithic arrays of 150 GHz pixels (588 total) and 180 individual 90 GHz single- pixel modules. In this paper we present the design and characterization of the 90 GHz modules.
SPTpol is a dual-frequency polarization-sensitive camera that was deployed on the 10-meter South Pole Telescope in January 2012. SPTpol will measure the polarization anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on angular scales spanning an arcminute to several degrees. The polarization sensitivity of SPTpol will enable a detection of the CMB “B-mode” polarization from the detection of the gravitational lensing of the CMB by large scale structure, and a detection or improved upper limit on a primordial signal due to inationary gravity waves. The two measurements can be used to constrain the sum of the neutrino masses and the energy scale of ination. These science goals can be achieved through the polarization sensitivity of the SPTpol camera and careful control of systematics. The SPTpol camera consists of 768 pixels, each containing two transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometers coupled to orthogonal polarizations, and a total of 1536 bolometers. The pixels are sensitive to light in one of two frequency bands centered at 90 and 150 GHz, with 180 pixels at 90 GHz and 588 pixels at 150 GHz. The SPTpol design has several features designed to control polarization systematics, including: singlemoded feedhorns with low cross-polarization, bolometer pairs well-matched to dfference atmospheric signals, an improved ground shield design based on far-sidelobe measurements of the SPT, and a small beam to reduce temperature to polarization leakage. We present an overview of the SPTpol instrument design, project status, and science projections.
The Bicep2 and Keck Array experiments are designed to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on angular scales of 2-4 degrees (ℓ = 50–100). This is the region in which the B-mode signal, a signature prediction of cosmic inflation, is expected to peak. Bicep2 was deployed to the South Pole at the end of 2009 and is in the middle of its third year of observing with 500 polarization-sensitive detectors at 150 GHz. The Keck Array was deployed to the South Pole at the end of 2010, initially with three receivers—each similar to Bicep2. An additional two receivers have been added during the 2011-12 summer. We give an overview of the two experiments, report on substantial gains in the sensitivity of the two experiments after post-deployment optimization, and show preliminary maps of CMB polarization from Bicep2.
We present the software system used to control and operate the South Pole Telescope. The South Pole Telescope is
a 10-meter millimeter-wavelength telescope designed to measure anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background
(CMB) at arcminute angular resolution. In the austral summer of 2011/12, the SPT was equipped with a new
polarization-sensitive camera, which consists of 1536 transition-edge sensor bolometers. The bolometers are read
out using 36 independent digital frequency multiplexing (DfMux) readout boards, each with its own embedded
processors. These autonomous boards control and read out data from the focal plane with on-board software
and firmware. An overall control software system running on a separate control computer controls the DfMux
boards, the cryostat and all other aspects of telescope operation. This control software collects and monitors
data in real-time, and stores the data to disk for transfer to the United States for analysis.
In January 2012, the 10m South Pole Telescope (SPT) was equipped with a polarization-sensitive camera, SPTpol, in order to measure the polarization anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Measurements of the polarization of the CMB at small angular scales (~several arcminutes) can detect the gravitational lensing of the CMB by large scale structure and constrain the sum of the neutrino masses. At large angular scales (~few degrees) CMB measurements can constrain the energy scale of Inflation. SPTpol is a two-color mm-wave camera that consists of 180 polarimeters at 90 GHz and 588 polarimeters at 150 GHz, with each polarimeter consisting of a dual transition edge sensor (TES) bolometers. The full complement of 150 GHz detectors consists of 7 arrays of 84 ortho-mode transducers (OMTs) that are stripline coupled to two TES detectors per OMT, developed by the TRUCE collaboration and fabricated at NIST. Each 90 GHz pixel consists of two antenna-coupled absorbers coupled to two TES detectors, developed with Argonne National Labs. The 1536 total detectors are read out with digital frequency-domain multiplexing (DfMUX). The SPTpol deployment represents the first on-sky tests of both of these detector technologies, and is one of the first deployed instruments using DfMUX readout technology. We present the details of the design, commissioning, deployment, on-sky optical characterization and detector performance of the complete SPTpol focal plane.
The Keck Array (SPUD) is a set of microwave polarimeters that observes from the South Pole at degree angular scales in search of a signature of Inflation imprinted as B-mode polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The first three Keck Array receivers were deployed during the 2010-2011 Austral summer, followed by two new receivers in the 2011-2012 summer season, completing the full five-receiver array. All five receivers are currently observing at 150 GHz. The Keck Array employs the field-proven BICEP/ BICEP2 strategy of using small, cold, on-axis refractive optics, providing excellent control of systematics while maintaining a large field of view. This design allows for full characterization of far-field optical performance using microwave sources on the ground. We describe our efforts to characterize the main beam shape and beam shape mismatch between co-located orthogonally-polarized detector pairs, and discuss the implications of measured differential beam parameters on temperature to polarization leakage in CMB analysis.
We describe the cryogenic system for SPIDER, a balloon-borne microwave polarimeter that will map 8% of the
sky with degree-scale angular resolution. The system consists of a 1284 L liquid helium cryostat and a 16 L
capillary-filled superfluid helium tank, which provide base operating temperatures of 4 K and 1.5 K, respectively.
Closed-cycle 3He adsorption refrigerators supply sub-Kelvin cooling power to multiple focal planes, which are
housed in monochromatic telescope inserts. The main helium tank is suspended inside the vacuum vessel with
thermally insulating fiberglass flexures, and shielded from thermal radiation by a combination of two vapor
cooled shields and multi-layer insulation. This system allows for an extremely low instrumental background and
a hold time in excess of 25 days. The total mass of the cryogenic system, including cryogens, is approximately
1000 kg. This enables conventional long duration balloon flights. We will discuss the design, thermal analysis,
and qualification of the cryogenic system.
We describe SPIDER, a balloon-borne instrument to map the polarization of the millimeter-wave sky with degree
angular resolution. Spider consists of six monochromatic refracting telescopes, each illuminating a focal plane
of large-format antenna-coupled bolometer arrays. A total of 2,624 superconducting transition-edge sensors are
distributed among three observing bands centered at 90, 150, and 280 GHz. A cold half-wave plate at the
aperture of each telescope modulates the polarization of incoming light to control systematics. SPIDER's first
flight will be a 20-30-day Antarctic balloon campaign in December 2011. This flight will map ~8% of the sky to
achieve unprecedented sensitivity to the polarization signature of the gravitational wave background predicted
by inflationary cosmology. The SPIDER mission will also serve as a proving ground for these detector technologies
in preparation for a future satellite mission.
Spider is a balloon-borne array of six telescopes that will observe the Cosmic Microwave Background. The 2624
antenna-coupled bolometers in the instrument will make a polarization map of the CMB with approximately
one-half degree resolution at 145 GHz. Polarization modulation is achieved via a cryogenic sapphire half-wave
plate (HWP) skyward of the primary optic. We have measured millimeter-wave transmission spectra of the
sapphire at room and cryogenic temperatures. The spectra are consistent with our physical optics model, and
the data gives excellent measurements of the indices of A-cut sapphire. We have also taken preliminary spectra of
the integrated HWP, optical system, and detectors in the prototype Spider receiver. We calculate the variation
in response of the HWP between observing the CMB and foreground spectra, and estimate that it should not
limit the Spider constraints on inflation.
Here we describe the design and performance of the SPIDER instrument. SPIDER is a balloon-borne cosmic
microwave background polarization imager that will map part of the sky at 90, 145, and 280 GHz with subdegree
resolution and high sensitivity. This paper discusses the general design principles of the instrument inserts,
mechanical structures, optics, focal plane architecture, thermal architecture, and magnetic shielding of the TES
sensors and SQUID multiplexer. We also describe the optical, noise, and magnetic shielding performance of the
145 GHz prototype instrument insert.
Spider is a balloon-borne experiment that will measure the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background
over a large fraction of a sky at ~ 1° resolution. Six monochromatic refracting millimeter-wave telescopes with
large arrays of antenna-coupled transition-edge superconducting bolometers will provide system sensitivities of
4.2 and 3.1 μKcmb√s at 100 and 150 GHz, respectively. A rotating half-wave plate will modulate the polarization
sensitivity of each telescope, controlling systematics. Bolometer arrays operating at 225 GHz and 275 GHz will
allow removal of polarized galactic foregrounds. In a 2-6 day first flight from Alice Springs, Australia in 2010,
Spider will map 50% of the sky to a depth necessary to improve our knowledge of the reionization optical depth
by a large factor.
We describe SPIDER, a novel balloon-borne experiment designed to measure the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) on large angular scales. The primary goal of SPIDER is to detect the faint signature of inflationary gravitational waves in the CMB polarization. The payload consists of six telescopes, each operating in a single frequency band and cooled to 4 K by a common LN/LHe cryostat. The primary optic for each telescope is a 25 cm diameter lens cooled to 4 K. Each telescope feeds an array of antenna coupled, polarization sensitive sub-Kelvin bolometers that covers a 20 degree diameter FOV with diffraction limited resolution. The six focal planes span 70 to 300 GHz in a manner optimized to separate polarized galactic emission from CMB polarization, and together contain over 2300 detectors. Polarization modulation is achieved by rotating a cryogenic half-wave plate in front of the primary optic of each telescope. The cryogenic system is designed for 30 days of operation. Observations will be conducted during the night portions of a mid-latitude, long duration balloon flight which will circumnavigate the globe from Australia. By spinning the payload at 1 rpm with the six telescopes fixed in elevation, SPIDER will map approximately half of the sky at each frequency on each night of the flight.