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Published September 27, 2012 | Published + Submitted
Book Section - Chapter Open

SPTpol: an instrument for CMB polarization measurements with the South Pole Telescope


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.

Additional Information

© 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Work at the University of Colorado is supported by the NSF through grant AST-0705302. Work at NIST is supported by the NIST Innovations in Measurement Science program. The McGill authors acknowledge funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and Canada Research Chairs program. MD acknowledges support from an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Work at the University of Chicago is supported by grants from the NSF (awards ANT-0638937 and PHY-0114422), the Kavli Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Work at Argonne National Lab is supported by UChicago Argonne, LLC, Operator of Argonne National Laboratory (\Argonne"). Argonne, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Laboratory, is operated under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. We acknowledge support from the Argonne Center for Nanoscale Materials.

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