LiteBIRD is a candidate for JAXA’s strategic large mission to observe the cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization over the full sky at large angular scales. It is planned to be launched in the 2020s with an H3 launch vehicle for three years of observations at a Sun-Earth Lagrangian point (L2). The concept design has been studied by researchers from Japan, U.S., Canada and Europe during the ISAS Phase-A1. Large scale measurements of the CMB B-mode polarization are known as the best probe to detect primordial gravitational waves. The goal of LiteBIRD is to measure the tensor-to-scalar ratio (r) with precision of r < 0:001. A 3-year full sky survey will be carried out with a low frequency (34 - 161 GHz) telescope (LFT) and a high frequency (89 - 448 GHz) telescope (HFT), which achieve a sensitivity of 2.5 μK-arcmin with an angular resolution 30 arcminutes around 100 GHz. The concept design of LiteBIRD system, payload module (PLM), cryo-structure, LFT and verification plan is described in this paper.
We present a preliminary study of the sky scanning strategy for the LSPE-STRIP instrument, a ground-based telescope that will be installed at the Teide Observatory (Tenerife, Canary Islands) in early 2019 and will observe the polarized emission of about 25% of the sky in the Northern Hemisphere at 43 and 95 GHz. The same sky portion will be observed at 140, 220 and 240 GHz by LSPE-SWIPE, a stratospheric balloon scheduled for a long-duration flight around the North Pole during the Arctic winter of 2019/2020. The combination of data from the two instruments aims at constraining the tensor-to-scalar ratio down to r ~ 0.03. In our paper we discuss the main scanning strategy requirements (overlap with SWIPE coverage, sensitivity distribution, observation of calibration sources) and show how we obtain a trade-off by spinning the telescope around the azimuth axis with constant elevation and angular velocity. The combination of the telescope motion with the Earth rotation will guarantee the access to the large angular scales. We will observe periodically the Crab Nebula as well as the Perseus molecular cloud. The Crab is one of the best known polarized sources in the sky and it will be observed for calibration purposes. The second one is a source of Anomalous Microwave Emission that could be characterized both in intensity and polarization.
In this paper we discuss the latest developments of the STRIP instrument of the “Large Scale Polarization Explorer” (LSPE) experiment. LSPE is a novel project that combines ground-based (STRIP) and balloon-borne (SWIPE) polarization measurements of the microwave sky on large angular scales to attempt a detection of the “B-modes” of the Cosmic Microwave Background polarization. STRIP will observe approximately 25% of the Northern sky from the “Observatorio del Teide” in Tenerife, using an array of forty-nine coherent polarimeters at 43 GHz, coupled to a 1.5 m fully rotating crossed-Dragone telescope. A second frequency channel with six-elements at 95 GHz will be exploited as an atmospheric monitor. At present, most of the hardware of the STRIP instrument has been developed and tested at sub-system level. System-level characterization, starting in July 2018, will lead STRIP to be shipped and installed at the observation site within the end of the year. The on-site verification and calibration of the whole instrument will prepare STRIP for a 2-years campaign for the observation of the CMB polarization.
We discuss the design and expected performance of STRIP (STRatospheric Italian Polarimeter), an array of coherent receivers designed to fly on board the LSPE (Large Scale Polarization Explorer) balloon experiment. The STRIP focal plane array comprises 49 elements in Q band and 7 elements in W-band using cryogenic HEMT low noise amplifiers and high performance waveguide components. In operation, the array will be cooled to 20 K and placed in the focal plane of a ~0.6 meter telescope providing an angular resolution of ~1.5 degrees. The LSPE experiment aims at large scale, high sensitivity measurements of CMB polarization, with multi-frequency deep measurements to optimize component separation. The STRIP Q-band channel is crucial to accurately measure and remove the synchrotron polarized component, while the W-band channel, together with a bolometric channel at the same frequency, provides a crucial cross-check for systematic effects.
The LSPE is a balloon-borne mission aimed at measuring the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)
at large angular scales, and in particular to constrain the curl component of CMB polarization (B-modes) produced by
tensor perturbations generated during cosmic inflation, in the very early universe. Its primary target is to improve the
limit on the ratio of tensor to scalar perturbations amplitudes down to r = 0.03, at 99.7% confidence. A second target is
to produce wide maps of foreground polarization generated in our Galaxy by synchrotron emission and interstellar dust
emission. These will be important to map Galactic magnetic fields and to study the properties of ionized gas and of
diffuse interstellar dust in our Galaxy. The mission is optimized for large angular scales, with coarse angular resolution
(around 1.5 degrees FWHM), and wide sky coverage (25% of the sky). The payload will fly in a circumpolar long
duration balloon mission during the polar night. Using the Earth as a giant solar shield, the instrument will spin in
azimuth, observing a large fraction of the northern sky. The payload will host two instruments. An array of coherent
polarimeters using cryogenic HEMT amplifiers will survey the sky at 43 and 90 GHz. An array of bolometric
polarimeters, using large throughput multi-mode bolometers and rotating Half Wave Plates (HWP), will survey the same
sky region in three bands at 95, 145 and 245 GHz. The wide frequency coverage will allow optimal control of the
polarized foregrounds, with comparable angular resolution at all frequencies.
In this paper we present the test results of the qualification model (QM) of the LFI instrument, which is being
developed as part of the ESA Planck satellite. In particular we discuss the calibration plan which has defined
the main requirements of the radiometric tests and of the experimental setups. Then we describe how these
requirements have been implemented in the custom-developed cryo-facilities and present the main results. We
conclude with a discussion of the lessons learned for the testing of the LFI Flight Model (FM).
The ESA Planck mission is the third generation (after COBE and WMAP) space experiment dedicated to the measurement
of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies. Planck will map the whole CMB sky using two instruments in
the focal plane of a 1.5 m off-axis aplanatic telescope. The High Frequency Instrument (HFI) is an array of 52 bolometers
in the frequency range 100-857 GHz, while the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) is an array of 11 pseudo-correlation
radiometric receivers which continuously compare the sky signal with the reference signal of a blackbody at ~ 4.5 K.
The LFI has been tested and calibrated at different levels of integration, i.e. on the single units (feed-horns, OMTs, amplifiers,
waveguides, etc.), on each integrated Radiometric Chain Assembly (RCA) and finally on the complete instrument,
the Radiometric Array Assembly (RAA). In this paper we focus on some of the data analysis algorithms and methods that
have been implemented to estimate the instrument performance and calibration parameters.
The paper concludes with the discussion of a custom-designed software package (LIFE) that allows to access the
complex data structure produced by the instrument and to estimate the instrument performance and calibration parameters
via a fully graphical interface.
The ESA Planck mission is the third generation (after COBE and WMAP) space experiment dedicated to the measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies. Two instruments will be integrated onboard: the High Frequency Instrument (HFI), an array of bolometers, and the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI), an array of pseudo-correlation HEMT radiometers.
In this paper we will discuss the development of analytical and numerical models to estimate the thermal behavior of LFI, both in steady-state and transient conditions. We then describe their application to the qualification model (QM) tests. QM test data were also used to calibrate the numerical models. Finally, we show some examples about how these models can be used in predicting the instrument performances and the impact of thermal systematic effects on the scientific results.