The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor consists of four instruments performing a CMB polarization survey. Currently, the 40 GHz and first 90 GHz instruments are deployed and observing, with the second 90 GHz and a multichroic 150/220 GHz instrument to follow. The receiver is a central component of each instrument's design and functionality. This paper describes the CLASS receiver design, using the first 90 GHz receiver as a primary reference. Cryogenic cooling and filters maintain a cold, low-noise environment for the detectors. We have achieved receiver detector temperatures below 50mK in the 40 GHz instrument for 85% of the initial 1.5 years of operation, and observed in-band efficiency that is consistent with pre-deployment estimates. At 90 GHz, less than 26% of in-band power is lost to the filters and lenses in the receiver, allowing for high optical efficiency. We discuss the mounting scheme for the filters and lenses, the alignment of the cold optics and detectors, stray light control, and magnetic shielding.
The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) aims to detect and characterize the primordial Bmode signal and make a sample-variance-limited measurement of the optical depth to reionization. CLASS is a ground-based, multi-frequency microwave polarimeter that surveys 70% of the microwave sky every day from the Atacama Desert. The focal plane detector arrays of all CLASS telescopes contain smooth-walled feedhorns that couple to transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometers through symmetric planar orthomode transducer (OMT) antennas. These low noise polarization-sensitive detector arrays are fabricated on mono-crystalline silicon wafers to maintain TES uniformity and optimize optical efficiency throughout the wafer. In this paper, we discuss the design and characterization of the first CLASS 93 GHz detector array. We measure the dark parameters, bandpass, and noise spectra of the detectors and report that the detectors are photon-noise limited. With current array yield of 82%, we estimate the total array noise-equivalent power (NEP) to be 2.1 aW√s.
EBEX is a balloon-borne telescope designed to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation. During its eleven day science flight in the Austral Summer of 2012, it operated 955 spider-web transition edge sensor (TES) bolometers separated into bands at 150, 250 and 410 GHz. This is the first time that an array of TES bolometers has been used on a balloon platform to conduct science observations. Polarization sensitivity was provided by a wire grid and continuously rotating half-wave plate. The balloon implementation of the bolometer array and readout electronics presented unique development requirements. Here we present an outline of the readout system, the remote tuning of the bolometers and Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) amplifiers, and preliminary current noise of the bolometer array and readout system.
Spider is a balloon-borne array of six telescopes that will observe the Cosmic Microwave Background. The 2624
antenna-coupled bolometers in the instrument will make a polarization map of the CMB with approximately
one-half degree resolution at 145 GHz. Polarization modulation is achieved via a cryogenic sapphire half-wave
plate (HWP) skyward of the primary optic. We have measured millimeter-wave transmission spectra of the
sapphire at room and cryogenic temperatures. The spectra are consistent with our physical optics model, and
the data gives excellent measurements of the indices of A-cut sapphire. We have also taken preliminary spectra of
the integrated HWP, optical system, and detectors in the prototype Spider receiver. We calculate the variation
in response of the HWP between observing the CMB and foreground spectra, and estimate that it should not
limit the Spider constraints on inflation.