BICEP3, the latest telescope in the BICEP/Keck program, started science observations in March 2016. It is a 550mm aperture refractive telescope observing the polarization of the cosmic microwave background at 95 GHz. We show the focal plane design and detector performance, including spectral response, optical efficiency and preliminary sensitivity of the upgraded BICEP3. We demonstrate 9.72 μKCMB√s noise performance of the BICEP3 receiver.
BICEP3 is a small-aperture refracting cosmic microwave background (CMB) telescope designed to make sensitive polarization maps in pursuit of a potential B-mode signal from inflationary gravitational waves. It is the latest in the Bicep/Keck Array series of CMB experiments located at the South Pole, which has provided the most stringent constraints on inflation to date. For the 2016 observing season, BICEP3 was outfitted with a full suite of 2400 optically coupled detectors operating at 95 GHz. In these proceedings we report on the far field beam performance using calibration data taken during the 2015-2016 summer deployment season in situ with a thermal chopped source. We generate high-fidelity per-detector beam maps, show the array-averaged beam profile, and characterize the differential beam response between co-located, orthogonally polarized detectors which contributes to the leading instrumental systematic in pair differencing experiments. We find that the levels of differential pointing, beamwidth, and ellipticity are similar to or lower than those measured for Bicep2 and Keck Array. The magnitude and distribution of Bicep3’s differential beam mismatch – and the level to which temperature-to-polarization leakage may be marginalized over or subtracted in analysis - will inform the design of next-generation CMB experiments with many thousands of detectors.
Bicep3 is a 520mm aperture, compact two-lens refractor designed to observe the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at 95 GHz. Its focal plane consists of modularized tiles of antenna-coupled transition edge sensors (TESs), similar to those used in Bicep2 and the Keck Array. The increased per-receiver optical throughput compared to Bicep2/Keck Array, due to both its faster f=1:7 optics and the larger aperture, more than doubles the combined mapping speed of the Bicep/Keck program. The Bicep3 receiver was recently upgraded to a full complement of 20 tiles of detectors (2560 TESs) and is now beginning its second year of observation (and first science season) at the South Pole. We report on its current performance and observing plans. Given its high per-receiver throughput while maintaining the advantages of a compact design, Bicep3- class receivers are ideally suited as building blocks for a 3rd-generation CMB experiment, consisting of multiple receivers spanning 35 GHz to 270 GHz with total detector count in the tens of thousands. We present plans for such an array, the new "BICEP Array" that will replace the Keck Array at the South Pole, including design optimization, frequency coverage, and deployment/observing strategies.
The inflationary paradigm of the early universe predicts a stochastic background of gravitational waves which would generate a B-mode polarization pattern in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at degree angular scales. Precise measurement of B-modes is one of the most compelling observational goals in modern cosmology. Since 2011, the Keck Array has deployed over 2500 transition edge sensor (TES) bolometer detectors at 100 and 150 GHz to the South Pole in pursuit of degree-scale B-modes, and Bicep3 will follow in 2015 with 2500 more at 100 GHz. Characterizing the spectral response of these detectors is important for controlling systematic effects that could lead to leakage from the temperature to polarization signal, and for understanding potential coupling to atmospheric and astrophysical emission lines. We present complete spectral characterization of the Keck Array detectors, made with a Martin-Puplett Fourier Transform Spectrometer at the South Pole, and preliminary spectra of Bicep3 detectors taken in lab. We show band centers and effective bandwidths for both Keck Array bands, and use models of the atmosphere at the South Pole to cross check our absolute calibration. Our procedure for obtaining interferograms in the field with automated 4-axis coupling to the focal plane represents an important step towards efficient and complete spectral characterization of next-generation instruments more than 10000 detectors.
Searching for evidence of inflation by measuring B-modes in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization at degree angular scales remains one of the most compelling experimental challenges in cosmology. BICEP2 and the Keck Array are part of a program of experiments at the South Pole whose main goal is to achieve the sensitivity and systematic control necessary for measurements of the tensor-to-scalar ratio at σ(r) ~0:01. Beam imperfections that are not sufficiently accounted for are a potential source of spurious polarization that could interfere with that goal. The strategy of BICEP2 and the Keck Array is to completely characterize their telescopes' polarized beam response with a combination of in-lab, pre-deployment, and on-site calibrations. We Sereport the status of these experiments, focusing on continued improved understanding of their beams. Far-field measurements of the BICEP2 beam with a chopped thermal source, combined with analysis improvements, show that the level of residual beam-induced systematic errors is acceptable for the goal of σ(r) ~ 0:01 measurements. Beam measurements of the Keck Array side lobes helped identify a way to reduce optical loading with interior cold baffles, which we installed in late 2013. These baffles reduced total optical loading, leading to a ~ 10% increase in mapping speed for the 2014 observing season. The sensitivity of the Keck Array continues to improve: for the 2013 season it was 9:5 μK _/s noise equivalent temperature (NET). In 2014 we converted two of the 150-GHz cameras to 100 GHz for foreground separation capability. We have shown that the BICEP2 and the Keck Array telescope technology is sufficient for the goal of σ(r) ~ 0:01 measurements. Furthermore, the program is continuing with BICEP3, a 100-GHz telescope with 2560 detectors.
The Keck Array (SPUD) began observing the cosmic microwave background's polarization in the winter of 2011 at the South Pole. The Keck Array follows the success of the predecessor experiments BICEP and BICEP2, 1 using five on-axis refracting telescopes. These have a combined imaging array of 2500 antenna-coupled TES bolometers read with a SQUID- based time domain multiplexing system. We will discuss the detector noise and the optimization of the readout. The achieved sensitivity of the Keck Array is 11.5 μKCMB√s in the 2012 configuration.
The Keck Array (SPUD) is a set of microwave polarimeters that observes from the South Pole at degree angular scales in search of a signature of Inflation imprinted as B-mode polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The first three Keck Array receivers were deployed during the 2010-2011 Austral summer, followed by two new receivers in the 2011-2012 summer season, completing the full five-receiver array. All five receivers are currently observing at 150 GHz. The Keck Array employs the field-proven BICEP/ BICEP2 strategy of using small, cold, on-axis refractive optics, providing excellent control of systematics while maintaining a large field of view. This design allows for full characterization of far-field optical performance using microwave sources on the ground. We describe our efforts to characterize the main beam shape and beam shape mismatch between co-located orthogonally-polarized detector pairs, and discuss the implications of measured differential beam parameters on temperature to polarization leakage in CMB analysis.
The Keck Array is a cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarimeter that will begin observing from the South
Pole in late 2010. The initial deployment will consist of three telescopes similar to BICEP2 housed in ultracompact,
pulse tube cooled cryostats. Two more receivers will be added the following year. In these proceedings
we report on the design and performance of the Keck cryostat. We also report some initial results on the
performance of antenna-coupled TES detectors operating in the presence of a pulse tube. We find that the
performance of the detectors is not seriously impacted by the replacement of BICEP2's liquid helium cryostat
with a pulse tube cooled cryostat.
We report on the preliminary detector performance of the Bicep2 mm-wave polarimeter, deployed in 2009 to
the South Pole. Bicep2 is currently imaging the polarization of the cosmic microwave background at 150 GHz
using an array of 512 antenna-coupled superconducting bolometers. The antennas, band-defining filters and
transition edge sensor (TES) bolometers are photolithographically fabricated on 4 silicon tiles. Each tile consists
of an 8×8 grid of ~7 mm spatial pixels, for a total of 256 detector pairs. A spatial pixel contains 2 sets of
orthogonal antenna slots summed in-phase, with each set coupled to a TES by a filtered microstrip. The detectors
are read out using time-domain multiplexed SQUIDs. The detector pair of each spatial pixel is differenced to
measure polarization. We report on the performance of the Bicep2 detectors in the field, including the focal
plane yield, detector and multiplexer optimization, detector noise and stability, and a preliminary estimate of
the improvement in mapping speed compared to Bicep1.
Bicep2 deployed to the South Pole during the 2009-2010 austral summer, and is now mapping the polarization
of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), searching for evidence of inflationary cosmology. Bicep2 belongs
to a new class of telescopes including Keck (ground-based) and Spider (balloon-borne) that follow on Bicep's
strategy of employing small, cold, on-axis refracting optics. This common design provides key advantages ideal
for targeting the polarization signature from inflation, including: (i) A large field of view, allowing substantial
light collecting power despite the small aperture, while still resolving the degree-scale polarization of the CMB;
(ii) liquid helium-cooled optics and cold stop, allowing for low, stable instrument loading; (iii) the ability to
rotate the entire telescope about the boresight; (iv) a baffled primary aperture, reducing sidelobe pickup; and
(v) the ability to characterize the far field optical performance of the telescope using ground-based sources. We
describe the last of these advantages in detail, including our efforts to measure the main beam shape, beammatch
between orthogonally-polarized pairs, polarization efficiency and response angle, sidelobe pickup, and
ghost imaging. We do so with ground-based polarized microwave sources mounted in the far field as well as
with astronomical calibrators. Ultimately, Bicep2's sensitivity to CMB polarization from inflation will rely on
precise calibration of these beam features.
The Bicep2 telescope is designed to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background on angular
scales near 2-4 degrees, near the expected peak of the B-mode polarization signal induced by primordial gravitational
waves from inflation. Bicep2 follows the success of Bicep, which has set the most sensitive current limits
on B-modes on 2-4 degree scales. The experiment adopts a new detector design in which beam-defining slot antennas
are coupled to TES detectors photolithographically patterned in the same silicon wafer, with multiplexing
SQUID readout. Bicep2 takes advantage of this design's higher focal-plane packing density, ease of fabrication,
and multiplexing readout to field more detectors than Bicep1, improving mapping speed by nearly a factor of
10. Bicep2 was deployed to the South Pole in November 2009 with 500 polarization-sensitive detectors at 150
GHz, and is funded for two seasons of observation. The first months' data demonstrate the performance of the
Caltech/JPL antenna-coupled TES arrays, and two years of observation with Bicep2 will achieve unprecedented
sensitivity to B-modes on degree angular scales.
BICEP2/SPUD is the new powerful upgrade of the existing BICEP1 experiment, a bolometric receiver to study the
polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which has been in operation at the South Pole since January
2006. BICEP2 will provide an improvement up to 10 times mapping speed at 150 GHz compared to BICEP1, using the
same BICEP telescope mount. SPUD, a series of compact, mechanically-cooled receivers deployed on the DASI mount
at the Pole, will provide similar mapping speed in to BICEP2 in three bands, 100, 150, and 220 GHz. The new system
will use large TES focal plane arrays to provide unprecedented sensitivity and excellent control of foreground