The Simons Observatory (SO) is a new experiment that aims to measure the cosmic microwave background (CMB) in temperature and polarization. SO will measure the polarized sky over a large range of microwave frequencies and angular scales using a combination of small (~0.5 m) and large (~6 m) aperture telescopes and will be located in the Atacama Desert in Chile. This work is part of a series of papers studying calibration, sensitivity, and systematic errors for SO. In this paper, we discuss current efforts to model optical systematic effects, how these have been used to guide the design of the SO instrument, and how these studies can be used to inform instrument design of future experiments like CMB-S4. While optical systematics studies are underway for both the small aperture and large aperture telescopes, we limit the focus of this paper to the more mature large aperture telescope design for which our studies include: pointing errors, optical distortions, beam ellipticity, cross-polar response, instrumental polarization rotation and various forms of sidelobe pickup.
The Simons Observatory (SO) will make precision temperature and polarization measurements of the cosmic
microwave background (CMB) using a series of telescopes which will cover angular scales between 1 arcminute
and tens of degrees, contain over 40,000 detectors, and sample frequencies between 27 and 270 GHz. SO will
consist of a six-meter-aperture telescope coupled to over 20,000 detectors along with an array of half-meter
aperture refractive cameras, coupled to an additional 20,000+ detectors. The unique combination of large and
small apertures in a single CMB observatory, which will be located in the Atacama Desert at an altitude of
5190 m, will allow us to sample a wide range of angular scales over a common survey area. SO will measure
fundamental cosmological parameters of our universe, find high redshift clusters via the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect,
constrain properties of neutrinos, and seek signatures of dark matter through gravitational lensing. The complex
set of technical and science requirements for this experiment has led to innovative instrumentation solutions
which we will discuss. The large aperture telescope will couple to a cryogenic receiver that is 2.4 m in diameter
and over 2 m long, creating a number of interesting technical challenges. Concurrently, we are designing an array
of half-meter-aperture cryogenic cameras which also have compelling design challenges. We will give an overview
of the drivers for and designs of the SO telescopes and the cryogenic cameras that will house the cold optical
components and detector arrays.
The Simons Observatory (SO) will observe the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) over a wide range of frequencies (27 to 270 GHz) and angular scales by using both small (∼0.5 m) and large (∼6 m) aperture telescopes. The SO small aperture telescopes will target degree angular scales where the primordial B-mode polarization signal is expected to peak. The incoming polarization signal of the small aperture telescopes will be modulated by a cryogenic, continuously-rotating half-wave plate (CRHWP) to mitigate systematic effects arising from slowly varying noise and detector pair-differencing. In this paper, we present an assessment of some systematic effects arising from using a CRHWP in the SO small aperture systems. We focus on systematic effects associated with structural properties of the HWP and effects arising when operating a HWP, including the amplitude of the HWP synchronous signal (HWPSS), and I → P (intensity to polarization) leakage that arises from detector non-linearity in the presence of a large HWPSS. We demonstrate our ability to simulate the impact of the aforementioned systematic effects in the time domain. This important step will inform mitigation strategies and design decisions to ensure that SO will meet its science goals.
New telescopes are being built to measure the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) with unprecedented sensitivity, including Simons Observatory (SO), CCAT-prime, the BICEP Array, SPT-3G, and CMB Stage-4. We present observing strategies for telescopes located in Chile that are informed by the tools used to develop recent Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and Polarbear surveys. As with ACT and Polarbear, these strategies are composed of scans that sweep in azimuth at constant elevation.
We explore observing strategies for both small (0.42 m) aperture telescopes (SAT) and a large (6 m) aperture telescope (LAT). We study strategies focused on small sky areas to search for inflationary gravitational waves as well as strategies spanning roughly half the low-foreground sky to constrain the effective number of relativistic species and measure the sum of neutrino masses via the gravitational lensing signal due to large scale structure. We present these strategies specifically considering the telescope hardware and science goals of the SO, located at 23° South latitude, 67.8° West longitude.
Observations close to the Sun and the Moon can introduce additional systematics by applying additional power to the instrument through telescope sidelobes. Significant side lobe contamination in the data can occur even at tens of degrees or more from bright sources. Therefore, we present several strategies that implement Sun and Moon avoidance constraints into the telescope scheduling.
Scan strategies can also be a powerful tool to diagnose and mitigate instrumental systematics either by using multiple scans to average down systematics or by providing null tests to diagnose problems. We discuss methods for quantifying the ability of an observation strategy to achieve this.
Strategies for resolving conflicts between simultaneously visible fields are discussed. We focus on maximizing telescope time spent on science observations. It will also be necessary to schedule calibration measurements, however that is beyond the scope of this work. The outputs of this study are algorithms that can generate specific schedule commands for the Simons Observatory instruments.
In this proceeding, we present studies of instrumental systematic effects for the Simons Obsevatory (SO) that are associated with the detector system and its interaction with the full SO experimental systems. SO will measure the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) temperature and polarization anisotropies over a wide range of angular scales in six bands with bandcenters spanning from 27 GHz to 270 GHz. We explore effects including intensity-to-polarization leakage due to coupling optics, bolometer nonlinearity, uncalibrated gain variations of bolometers, and readout crosstalk. We model the level of signal contamination, discuss proposed mitigation schemes, and present instrument requirements to inform the design of SO and future CMB projects.
The Simons Observatory (SO) will measure the cosmic microwave background (CMB) in both temperature and polarization over a wide range of angular scales and frequencies from 27-270 GHz with unprecedented sensitivity. One technology for coupling light onto the ~50 detector wafers that SO will field is spline-profiled feedhorns, which offer tunability between coupling efficiency and control of beam polarization leakage effects. We will present efforts to scale up feedhorn production for SO and their viability for future CMB experiments, including direct-machining metal feedhorn arrays and laser machining stacked Si arrays.
CCAT-prime will be a 6-meter aperture telescope operating from sub-mm to mm wavelengths, located at 5600 meters elevation on Cerro Chajnantor in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Its novel crossed-Dragone optical design will deliver a high throughput, wide field of view capable of illuminating much larger arrays of sub-mm and mm detectors than can existing telescopes. We present an overview of the motivation and design of Prime-Cam, a first-light instrument for CCAT-prime. Prime-Cam will house seven instrument modules in a 1.8 meter diameter cryostat, cooled by a dilution refrigerator. The optical elements will consist of silicon lenses, and the instrument modules can be individually optimized for particular science goals. The current design enables both broad- band, dual-polarization measurements and narrow-band, Fabry-Perot spectroscopic imaging using multichroic transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometers operating between 190 and 450 GHz. It also includes broadband kinetic induction detectors (KIDs) operating at 860 GHz. This wide range of frequencies will allow excellent characterization and removal of galactic foregrounds, which will enable precision measurements of the sub-mm and mm sky. Prime-Cam will be used to constrain cosmology via the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effects, map the intensity of [CII] 158 μm emission from the Epoch of Reionization, measure Cosmic Microwave Background polarization and foregrounds, and characterize the star formation history over a wide range of redshifts. More information about CCAT-prime can be found at www.ccatobservatory.org.
The Simons Observatory (SO) will make precision temperature and polarization measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) using a series of telescopes which will cover angular scales between one arcminute and tens of degrees, contain over 60,000 detectors, and sample frequencies between 27 and 270 GHz. SO will consist of a six-meter-aperture telescope coupled to over 30,000 detectors along with an array of half-meter aperture refractive cameras, which together couple to an additional 30,000+ detectors. SO will measure fundamental cosmological parameters of our universe, find high redshift clusters via the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect, constrain properties of neutrinos, and seek signatures of dark matter through gravitational lensing. In this paper we will present results of the simulations of the SO large aperture telescope receiver (LATR). We will show details of simulations performed to ensure the structural integrity and thermal performance of our receiver, as well as will present the results of finite element analyses (FEA) of designs for the structural support system. Additionally, a full thermal model for the LATR will be described. The model will be used to ensure we meet our design requirements. Finally, we will present the results of FEA used to identify the primary vibrational modes, and planned methods for suppressing these modes. Design solutions to each of these problems that have been informed by simulation will be presented.
The Simons Observatory (SO) is an upcoming experiment that will study temperature and polarization fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) from the Atacama Desert in Chile. SO will field both a large aperture telescope (LAT) and an array of small aperture telescopes (SATs) that will observe in six bands with center frequencies spanning from 27 to 270 GHz. Key considerations during the SO design phase are vast, including the number of cameras per telescope, focal plane magnification and pixel density, in-band optical power and camera throughput, detector parameter tolerances, and scan strategy optimization. To inform the SO design in a rapid, organized, and traceable manner, we have created a Python-based sensitivity calculator with several state-of-the-art features, including detector-to-detector optical white-noise correlations, a handling of simulated and measured bandpasses, and propagation of low-level parameter uncertainties to uncertainty in on-sky noise performance. We discuss the mathematics of the sensitivity calculation, the calculator's object-oriented structure and key features, how it has informed the design of SO, and how it can enhance instrument design in the broader CMB community, particularly for CMB-S4.
The Simons Observatory (SO) will make precision temperature and polarization measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) using a series of telescopes which will cover angular scales between one arcminute and tens of degrees and sample frequencies between 27 and 270 GHz. Here we present the current design of the large aperture telescope receiver (LATR), a 2.4m diameter cryostat that will be mounted on the SO 6m telescope and will be the largest CMB receiver to date. The cryostat size was chosen to take advantage of the large focal plane area having high Strehl ratios, which is inherent to the Cross-Dragone telescope design. The LATR will be able to accommodate thirteen optics tubes, each having a 36 cm diameter aperture and illuminating several thousand transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometers. This set of equipment will provide an opportunity to make measurements with unparalleled sensitivity. However, the size and complexity of the LATR also pose numerous technical challenges. In the following paper, we present the design of the LATR and include how we address these challenges. The solutions we develop in the process of designing the LATR will be informative for the general CMB community, and for future CMB experiments like CMB-S4.
The Simons Observatory (SO) will provide precision polarimetry of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) using a series of telescopes which will cover angular scales from arc-minutes to tens of degrees, contain over 60,000 detectors, and observe in frequency bands between 27 GHz and 270 GHz. SO will consist of a six-meter-aperture telescope initially coupled to roughly 35,000 detectors along with an array of half-meter aperture refractive cameras, coupled to an additional 30,000+ detectors.
The large aperture telescope receiver (LATR) is coupled to the SO six-meter crossed Dragone telescope and will be 2.4 m in diameter, weigh over 3 metric tons, and have five cryogenic stages (80 K, 40 K, 4 K, 1 K and 100 mK). The LATR is coupled to the telescope via 13 independent optics tubes containing cryogenic optical elements and detectors. The cryostat will be cooled by two Cryomech PT90 (80 K) and three Cryomech PT420 (40 K and 4 K) pulse tube cryocoolers, with cooling of the 1 K and 100 mK stages by a commercial dilution refrigerator system. The secondo component, the small aperture telescope (SAT), is a single optics tube refractive cameras of 42 cm diameter. Cooling of the SAT stages will be provided by two Cryomech PT420, one of which is dedicated to the dilution refrigeration system which will cool the focal plane to 100 mK. SO will deploy a total of three SATs.
In order to estimate the cool down time of the camera systems given their size and complexity, a finite difference code based on an implicit solver has been written to simulate the transient thermal behavior of both cryostats. The result from the simulations presented here predict a 35 day cool down for the LATR. The simulations suggest additional heat switches between stages would be effective in distribution cool down power and reducing the time it takes for the LATR to reach its base temperatures. The SAT is predicted to cool down in one week, which meets the SO design goals.
The Simons Observatory (SO) is a set of cosmic microwave background instruments that will be deployed in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The key science goals include setting new constraints on cosmic inflation, measuring large scale structure with gravitational lensing, and constraining neutrino masses. Meeting these science goals with SO requires high sensitivity and improved calibration techniques. In this paper, we highlight a few of the most important instrument calibrations, including spectral response, gain stability, and polarization angle calibrations. We present their requirements for SO and experimental techniques that can be employed to reach those requirements.
The Simons Observatory will consist of a single large (6 m diameter) telescope and a number of smaller (∼0.5 m diameter) refracting telescopes designed to measure the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background to unprecedented accuracy. The large aperture telescope is the same design as the CCAT-prime telescope, a modified Crossed Dragone design with a field-of-view of over 7.8 degrees diameter at 90 GHz. This paper presents an overview of the cold reimaging optics for this telescope and what drove our choice of 350–400 mm diameter silicon lenses in a 2.4 m cryostat over other possibilities. We will also consider the future expandability of this design to CMB Stage-4 and beyond.