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Published July 2006 | Published
Journal Article Open

MAXIMA: A balloon-borne cosmic microwave background anisotropy experiment


We describe the Millimeter wave Anisotropy eXperiment IMaging Array (MAXIMA), a balloon-borne experiment which measured the temperature anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on angular scales of 10′ to 5°. MAXIMA mapped the CMB using 16 bolometric detectors in spectral bands centered at 150, 240, and 410 GHz, with 10′ resolution at all frequencies. The combined receiver sensitivity to CMB anisotropy was ~40 μK √s. The bolometric detectors, which were cooled to 100 mK, were a prototype of the detectors which will be used on the Planck Surveyor Satellite of the European Space Agency. Systematic parasitic contributions were controlled by using four uncorrelated spatial modulations, thorough cross-linking, multiple independent CMB observations, heavily baffled optics, and strong spectral discrimination. Pointing reconstruction was accurate to 1′, and absolute calibration was better than 4%. Two MAXIMA flights with more than 8.5 h of CMB observations have mapped a total of 300 deg^2 of the sky in regions of negligible known foreground emission. MAXIMA results have been released in previous publications and shown to be consistent with the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. MAXIMA I maps, power spectra, and correlation matrices are publicly available at http://cosmology.berkeley.edu/maxima.

Additional Information

© 2006 American Institute of Physics. Received 3 March 2004; accepted 3 June 2006; published online 21 July 2006. Two of the authors J.H.P.W. and A.H.J. acknowledge support from NASA LTSA Grant No. NAG5-6552 and NSF KDI Grant No. 9872979. Another author P.G.F. acknowledges support from the RS. Two of the authors B.R. and C.D.W. acknowledge support from NASA GSRP Grant Nos. S00-GSRP-032 and S00-GSRP-031. Two of the authors M.E.A. and R.S. acknowledge support from NASA Grant No. NRA-00-01-AISR-004. MAXIMA is supported by NASA Grant Nos. NAG5-3941 and NAG5-4454 and by the NSF through the Center for Particle Astrophysics at UC Berkeley, NSF Cooperative Agreement No. AST-9120005. Computing resources were provided by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, which is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098, and by the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. MAXIMA field and flight support was provided by the National Scientific Balloon Facility. The MAXIMA team would like to thank P. Timbie for the use a Gunn oscillator and P. Mauskopf for providing electronic readout units. The authors also thank S. Young for his help in preparing figures for this manuscript.

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