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 our design and development of a polarization modulator unit (PMU) for LiteBIRD space mission. LiteBIRD is a next generation cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization satellite to measure the primordial B-mode. The science goal of LiteBIRD is to measure the tensor-to-scalar ratio with the sensitivity of δr < 10-3. The baseline design of LiteBIRD is to employ the PMU based on a continuous rotating half-wave plate (HWP) at a telescope aperture with a diameter of 400 mm. It is an essential for LiteBIRD to achieve the science goal because it significantly reduces detector noise and systematic uncertainties. The LiteBIRD PMU consists of a multi-layered sapphire as a broadband achromatic HWP and a mechanism to continuously rotate it at 88 rpm. The whole system is maintained at below 10K to minimize the thermal emission from the HWP. In this paper, we discuss the current development status of the broadband achromatic HWP and the cryogenic rotation mechanism.