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Published July 6, 2018 | Submitted + Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

PICO - the probe of inflation and cosmic origins


The Probe of Inflation and Cosmic Origins (PICO) is a NASA-funded study of a Probe-class mission concept. The toplevel science objectives are to probe the physics of the Big Bang by measuring or constraining the energy scale of inflation, probe fundamental physics by measuring the number of light particles in the Universe and the sum of neutrino masses, to measure the reionization history of the Universe, and to understand the mechanisms driving the cosmic star formation history, and the physics of the galactic magnetic field. PICO would have multiple frequency bands between 21 and 799 GHz, and would survey the entire sky, producing maps of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation, of galactic dust, of synchrotron radiation, and of various populations of point sources. Several instrument configurations, optical systems, cooling architectures, and detector and readout technologies have been and continue to be considered in the development of the mission concept. We will present a snapshot of the baseline mission concept currently under development.

Additional Information

© 2018 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Work on the PICO is supported by NASA through grant #NNX17AK52G to the University of Minnesota. The research described in this paper was partially carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a part of the California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Gianfranco de Zotti acknowledges financial support from the ASI/University of Roma-Tor Vergata agreement n. 2016-24-H.0 for study activities of the Italian cosmology community. Jacques Delabrouille acknowledges financial support from PNCG for participating to the PICO study. The information provided about the PICO mission concept is pre-decisional and is provided for planning and discussion purposes only.

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