Remnant radiation from the early universe, known as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), has been redshifted and cooled, and today has a blackbody spectrum peaking at millimetre wavelengths. The QUBIC (Q&U Bolometric Interferometer for Cosmology) instrument is designed to map the very faint polaristion structure in the CMB. QUBIC is based on the novel concept of bolometric interferometry in conjunction with synthetic imaging. It will have a large array of input feedhorns, which creates a large number of interferometric baselines.
The beam from each feedhorn is passed through an optical combiner, with an off-axis compensated Gregorian design, to allow the generation of the synthetic image. The optical-combiner will operate in two frequency bands (150 and 220 GHz with 25% and 18.2 % bandwidth respectively) while cryogenically cooled TES bolometers provide the sensitivity required at the image plane.
The QUBIC Technical Demonstrator (TD), a proof of technology instrument that contains 64 input feed-horns, is currently being built and will be installed in the Alto Chorrillos region of Argentina. The plan is then for the full QUBIC instrument (400 feed-horns) to be deployed in Argentina and obtain cosmologically significant results.
In this paper we will examine the output of the manufactered feed-horns in comparison to the nominal design. We will show the results of optical modelling that has been performed in anticipation of alignment and calibration of the TD in Paris, in particular testing the validity of real laboratory environments. We show the output of large calibrator sources (50 ° full width haf max Gaussian beams) and the importance of accurate mirror definitions when modelling large beams. Finally we describe the tolerance on errors of the position and orientation of mirrors in the optical combiner.