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Published August 5, 2010 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Optical design of the EPIC-IM crossed Dragone telescope

Abstract

The Experimental Probe of Inflationary Cosmology - Intermediate Mission (EPIC-IM) is a concept for the NASA Einstein Inflation Probe satellite. EPIC-IM is designed to characterize the polarization properties of the Cosmic Microwave Background to search for the B-mode polarization signal characteristic of gravitational waves generated during the epoch of Inflation in the early universe. EPIC-IM employs a large focal plane with 11,000 detectors operating in 9 wavelength bands to provide 30 times higher sensitivity than the currently operating Planck satellite. The optical design is based on a wide-field 1.4 m crossed-Dragone telescope, an aperture that allows not only comprehensive measurements of Inflationary B-mode polarization, but also measurements of the E-mode and lensing polarization signals to cosmological limits, as well as all-sky maps of Galactic polarization with unmatched sensitivity and angular resolution. The optics are critical to measuring these extremely faint polarization signals, and any design must meet demanding requirements on systematic error control. We describe the EPIC-IM crossed Dragone optical design, its polarization properties, and far-sidelobe response.

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© 2010 SPIE.

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