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A cryogenic rotation stage with a large clear aperture for the half-wave plates in the Spider instrument

Bryan, Sean and Bock, James J. and Crill, Brendan and Doré, Olivier and Hristov, Viktor and Mason, Peter and Moncelsi, Lorenzo and Morford, Tracy and Transgrud, Amy and Tucker, Rebecca (2016) A cryogenic rotation stage with a large clear aperture for the half-wave plates in the Spider instrument. Review of Scientific Instruments, 87 (1). Art. No. 014501. ISSN 0034-6748.

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We describe the cryogenic half-wave plate rotation mechanisms built for and used in Spider, a polarization-sensitive balloon-borne telescope array that observed the cosmic microwave background at 95 GHz and 150 GHz during a stratospheric balloon flight from Antarctica in January 2015. The mechanisms operate at liquid helium temperature in flight. A three-point contact design keeps the mechanical bearings relatively small but allows for a large (305 mm) diameter clear aperture. A worm gear driven by a cryogenic stepper motor allows for precise positioning and prevents undesired rotation when the motors are depowered. A custom-built optical encoder system monitors the bearing angle to an absolute accuracy of ±0.1∘. The system performed well in Spider during its successful 16 day flight.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Bock, James J.0000-0002-5710-5212
Crill, Brendan0000-0002-4650-8518
Doré, Olivier0000-0002-5009-7563
Mason, Peter0000-0002-7963-7420
Moncelsi, Lorenzo0000-0002-4242-3015
Additional Information:© 2016 AIP Publishing LLC. Received 6 October 2015; accepted 18 December 2015; published online 8 January 2016. SPIDER is supported in the U.S. by National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant Nos. NNX07AL64G and NNX12AE95G issued through the Science Mission Directorate, with support for A.S.R. from NESSF NNX10AM55H, and by the National Science Foundation through No. PLR-1043515. Logistical support for the Antarctic deployment and operations was provided by the NSF through the U.S. Antarctic Program. The collaboration is grateful for the generous support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which has been crucial to the success of the project. Support in Canada is provided by the National Sciences and Engineering Council and the Canadian Space Agency.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Earth and Space Science FellowshipNNX10AM55H
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160209-080319346
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:A cryogenic rotation stage with a large clear aperture for the half-wave plates in the Spider instrument Bryan, Sean and Ade, Peter and Amiri, Mandana and Benton, Steven and Bihary, Richard and Bock, James and Bond, J. Richard and Chiang, H. Cynthia and Contaldi, Carlo and Crill, Brendan and Dore, Olivier and Elder, Benjamin and Filippini, Jeffrey and Fraisse, Aurelien and Gambrel, Anne and Gandilo, Natalie and Gudmundsson, Jon and Hasselfield, Matthew and Halpern, Mark and Hilton, Gene and Holmes, Warren and Hristov, Viktor and Irwin, Kent and Jones, William and Kermish, Zigmund and Lawrie, Craig and MacTavish, Carrie and Mason, Peter and Megerian, Krikor and Moncelsi, Lorenzo and Montroy, Thomas and Morford, Tracy and Nagy, Johanna and Netterfield, C. Barth and Padilla, Ivan and Rahlin, Alexandra S. and Reintsema, Carl and Riley, Daniel C. and Ruhl, John and Runyan, Marcus and Saliwanchik, Benjamin and Shariff, Jamil and Soler, Juan and Trangsrud, Amy and Tucker, Carole and Tucker, Rebecca and Turner, Anthony and Wen, Shyang and Wiebe, Donald and Young, Edward, Review of Scientific Instruments, 87, 014501 (2016), DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64323
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Feb 2016 17:38
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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