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9 July 2008 A large free-standing wire grid for microwave variable-delay polarization modulation
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One technique for mapping the polarization signature of the cosmic microwave background uses large, polarizing grids in reflection. We present the system requirements, the fabrication, assembly, and alignment procedures, and the test results for the polarizing grid component of a 50 cm clear aperture, Variable-delay Polarization Modulator (VPM). This grid is being built and tested at the Goddard Space Flight Center as part of the Polarimeter for Observing Inflationary Cosmology at the Reionization Epoch (POINCARE). For the demonstration instrument, 64 μm diameter tungsten wires are being assembled into a 200 μm pitch, free-standing wire grid with a 50 cm clear aperture, and an expected overall flatness better than 30 μm. A rectangular, aluminum stretching frame holds the wires with sufficient tension to achieve a minimum resonant frequency of 185 Hz, allowing VPM mirror translation frequencies of several Hz. A lightly loaded, flattening ring with a 50 cm inside diameter rests against the wires and brings them into accurate planarity.
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G. M. Voellmer, C. Bennett, D. T. Chuss, J. Eimer, H. Hui, S. H. Moseley, G. Novak, E. J. Wollack, and L. Zeng "A large free-standing wire grid for microwave variable-delay polarization modulation", Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 70142A (9 July 2008);

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