BICEP Array is a degree-scale Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiment that will search for primordial B-mode polarization while constraining Galactic foregrounds. BICEP Array will be comprised of four receivers to cover a broad frequency range with channels at 30/40, 95, 150 and 220/270 GHz. The first low-frequency receiver will map synchrotron emission at 30 and 40 GHz and will deploy to the South Pole at the end of 2019. In this paper, we give an overview of the BICEP Array science and instrument, with a focus on the detector module. We designed corrugations in the metal frame of the module to suppress unwanted interactions with the antenna-coupled detectors that would otherwise deform the beams of edge pixels. This design reduces the residual beam systematics and temperature-to-polarization leakage due to beam steering and shape mismatch between polarized beam pairs. We report on the simulated performance of single- and wide-band corrugations designed to minimize these effects. Our optimized design alleviates beam differential ellipticity caused by the metal frame to about 7% over 57% bandwidth (25 to 45 GHz), which is close to the level due the bare antenna itself without a metal frame. Initial laboratory measurements are also presented.
BICEP3 is a 520mm aperture on-axis refracting telescope observing the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at 95GHz in search of the B-mode signal originating from in ationary gravitational waves. BICEP3's focal plane is populated with modularized tiles of antenna-coupled transition edge sensor (TES) bolometers. BICEP3 was deployed to the South Pole during 2014-15 austral summer and has been operational since. During the 2016-17 austral summer, we implemented changes to optical elements that lead to better noise performance. We discuss this upgrade and show the performance of BICEP3 at its full mapping speed from the 2017 and 2018 observing seasons. BICEP3 achieves an order-of-magnitude improvement in mapping speed compared to a Keck 95GHz receiver. We demonstrate 6.6μK√s noise performance of the BICEP3 receiver.
Bicep Array is the newest multi-frequency instrument in the Bicep/Keck Array program. It is comprised of four 550mm aperture refractive telescopes observing the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at 30/40, 95, 150 and 220/270 GHz with over 30,000 detectors. We present an overview of the receiver, detailing the optics, thermal, mechanical, and magnetic shielding design. Bicep Array follows Bicep3's modular focal plane concept, and upgrades to 6" wafer to reduce fabrication with higher detector count per module. The first receiver at 30/40GHz is expected to start observing at the South Pole during the 2019-20 season. By the end of the planned Bicep Array program, we project 0.002 ⪅ σ(r) ⪅ 0.006, assuming current modeling of polarized Galactic foreground and depending on the level of delensing that can be achieved with higher resolution maps from the South Pole Telescope.
Bicep Array is a cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization experiment that will begin observing at the South Pole in early 2019. This experiment replaces the five Bicep2 style receivers that compose the Keck Array with four larger Bicep3 style receivers observing at six frequencies from 30 to 270GHz. The 95GHz and 150GHz receivers will continue to push the already deep Bicep/Keck CMB maps while the 30/40GHz and 220/270GHz receivers will constrain the synchrotron and galactic dust foregrounds respectively. Here we report on the design and performance of the Bicep Array instruments focusing on the mount and cryostat systems.
Targeting faint polarization patterns arising from Primordial Gravitational Waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background requires excellent observational sensitivity. Optical elements in small aperture experiments such as Bicep3 and Keck Array are designed to optimize throughput and minimize losses from transmission, reflection and scattering at millimeter wavelengths. As aperture size increases, cryostat vacuum windows must withstand larger forces from atmospheric pressure and the solution has often led to a thicker window at the expense of larger transmission loss. We have identified a new candidate material for the fabrication of vacuum windows: with a tensile strength two orders of magnitude larger than previously used materials, woven high-modulus polyethylene could allow for dramatically thinner windows, and therefore significantly reduced losses and higher sensitivity. In these proceedings we investigate the suitability of high-modulus polyethylene windows for ground-based CMB experiments, such as current and future receivers in the Bicep/Keck Array program. This includes characterizing their optical transmission as well as their mechanical behavior under atmospheric pressure. We find that such ultra-thin materials are promising candidates to improve the performance of large-aperture instruments at millimeter wavelengths, and outline a plan for further tests ahead of a possible upcoming field deployment of such a science-grade window.
BICEP3, the latest telescope in the BICEP/Keck program, started science observations in March 2016. It is a 550mm aperture refractive telescope observing the polarization of the cosmic microwave background at 95 GHz. We show the focal plane design and detector performance, including spectral response, optical efficiency and preliminary sensitivity of the upgraded BICEP3. We demonstrate 9.72 μKCMB√s noise performance of the BICEP3 receiver.
BICEP3 is a small-aperture refracting cosmic microwave background (CMB) telescope designed to make sensitive polarization maps in pursuit of a potential B-mode signal from inflationary gravitational waves. It is the latest in the Bicep/Keck Array series of CMB experiments located at the South Pole, which has provided the most stringent constraints on inflation to date. For the 2016 observing season, BICEP3 was outfitted with a full suite of 2400 optically coupled detectors operating at 95 GHz. In these proceedings we report on the far field beam performance using calibration data taken during the 2015-2016 summer deployment season in situ with a thermal chopped source. We generate high-fidelity per-detector beam maps, show the array-averaged beam profile, and characterize the differential beam response between co-located, orthogonally polarized detectors which contributes to the leading instrumental systematic in pair differencing experiments. We find that the levels of differential pointing, beamwidth, and ellipticity are similar to or lower than those measured for Bicep2 and Keck Array. The magnitude and distribution of Bicep3’s differential beam mismatch – and the level to which temperature-to-polarization leakage may be marginalized over or subtracted in analysis - will inform the design of next-generation CMB experiments with many thousands of detectors.
This proceeding presents the current TIME-Pilot instrument design and status with a focus on the close-packed modular
detector arrays and spectrometers. Results of laboratory tests with prototype detectors and spectrometers are discussed.
TIME-Pilot is a new mm-wavelength grating spectrometer array under development that will study the Epoch of Reionization
(the period of time when the first stars and galaxies ionized the intergalactic medium) by mapping the fluctuations
of the redshifted 157:7 μm emission line of singly ionized carbon ([CII]) from redshift z ~ 5:2 to 8:5. As a tracer of star
formation, the [CII] power spectrum can provide information on the sources driving reionization and complements 21 cm
data (which traces neutral hydrogen in the intergalactic medium). Intensity mapping provides a measure of the mean [CII]
intensity without the need to resolve and detect faint sources individually. We plan to target a 1 degree by 0.35 arcminute
field on the sky and a spectral range of 199-305 GHz, producing a spatial-spectral slab which is 140 Mpc by 0.9 Mpc
on-end and 1230 Mpc in the redshift direction. With careful removal of intermediate-redshift CO sources, we anticipate
a detection of the halo-halo clustering term in the [CII] power spectrum consistent with current models for star formation
history in 240 hours on the JCMT.
TIME-Pilot will use two stacks of 16 parallel-plate waveguide spectrometers (one stack per polarization) with a resolving
power R ~ 100 and a spectral range of 183 to 326 GHz. The range is divided into 60 spectral channels, of which 16
at the band edges on each spectrometer serve as atmospheric monitors. The diffraction gratings are curved to produce a
compact instrument, each focusing the diffracted light onto an output arc sampled by the 60 bolometers. The bolometers
are built in buttable dies of 8 (low freqeuency) or 12 (high frequency) spectral channels by 8 spatial channels and are mated
to the spectrometer stacks. Each detector consists of a gold micro-mesh absorber and a titanium transition edge sensor
(TES). The detectors (1920 total) are designed to operate from a 250 mK base temperature in an existing cryostat with a
photon-noise-dominated NEP of ~2 * 10-17 WHz-1-2. A set of flexible superconducting cables connect the detectors to
a time-domain multiplexing SQUID readout system.
Bicep3 is a 520mm aperture, compact two-lens refractor designed to observe the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at 95 GHz. Its focal plane consists of modularized tiles of antenna-coupled transition edge sensors (TESs), similar to those used in Bicep2 and the Keck Array. The increased per-receiver optical throughput compared to Bicep2/Keck Array, due to both its faster f=1:7 optics and the larger aperture, more than doubles the combined mapping speed of the Bicep/Keck program. The Bicep3 receiver was recently upgraded to a full complement of 20 tiles of detectors (2560 TESs) and is now beginning its second year of observation (and first science season) at the South Pole. We report on its current performance and observing plans. Given its high per-receiver throughput while maintaining the advantages of a compact design, Bicep3- class receivers are ideally suited as building blocks for a 3rd-generation CMB experiment, consisting of multiple receivers spanning 35 GHz to 270 GHz with total detector count in the tens of thousands. We present plans for such an array, the new "BICEP Array" that will replace the Keck Array at the South Pole, including design optimization, frequency coverage, and deployment/observing strategies.
TIME-Pilot is designed to make measurements from the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), when the first stars and galaxies formed and ionized the intergalactic medium. This will be done via measurements of the redshifted 157.7 um line of singly ionized carbon ([CII]). In particular, TIME-Pilot will produce the first detection of [CII] clustering fluctuations, a signal proportional to the integrated [CII] intensity, summed over all EoR galaxies. TIME-Pilot is thus sensitive to the emission from dwarf galaxies, thought to be responsible for the balance of ionizing UV photons, that will be difficult to detect individually with JWST and ALMA. A detection of [CII] clustering fluctuations would validate current theoretical estimates of the [CII] line as a new cosmological observable, opening the door for a new generation of instruments with advanced technology spectroscopic array focal planes that will map [CII] fluctuations to probe the EoR history of star formation, bubble size, and ionization state. Additionally, TIME-Pilot will produce high signal-to-noise measurements of CO clustering fluctuations, which trace the role of molecular gas in star-forming galaxies at redshifts 0 < z < 2. With its unique atmospheric noise mitigation, TIME-Pilot also significantly improves sensitivity for measuring the kinetic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (kSZ) effect in galaxy clusters. TIME-Pilot will employ a linear array of spectrometers, each consisting of a parallel-plate diffraction grating. The spectrometer bandwidth covers 185-323 GHz to both probe the entire redshift range of interest and to include channels at the edges of the band for atmospheric noise mitigation. We illuminate the telescope with f/3 horns, which balances the desire to both couple to the sky with the best efficiency per beam, and to pack a large number of horns into the fixed field of view. Feedhorns couple radiation to the waveguide spectrometer gratings. Each spectrometer grating has 190 facets and provides resolving power above 100. At this resolution, the longest dimension of the grating is 31 cm, which allows us to stack gratings in two blocks (one for each polarization) of 16 within a single cryostat, providing a 1x16 array of beams in a 14 arcminute field of view. Direct absorber TES sensors sit at the output of the grating on six linear facets over the output arc, allowing us to package and read out the detectors as arrays in a modular manner. The 1840 detectors will be read out with the NIST time-domain-multiplexing (TDM) scheme and cooled to a base temperature of 250 mK with a 3He sorption refrigerator. We present preliminary designs for the TIME-Pilot cryogenics, spectrometers, bolometers, and optics.
The Tomographic Ionized carbon Mapping Experiment (TIME) is a multi-phased experiment that will topographically map [CII] emission from the Epoch of Reionization. We are developing lithographed spectrometers that couple to TES bolometers in anticipation of the second generation instrument. Our design intentionally mirrors many features of the parallel SuperSpec project, inductively coupling power from a trunk-line microstrip onto half-wave resonators. The resonators couple to a rat-race hybrids that feeds TES bolometers. Our 25 channel prototype shows spectrally positioned lines roughly matching design with a receiver optical efficiency of 15-20%, a level that is dominated by loss in components outside the spectrometer.
The inflationary paradigm of the early universe predicts a stochastic background of gravitational waves which would generate a B-mode polarization pattern in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at degree angular scales. Precise measurement of B-modes is one of the most compelling observational goals in modern cosmology. Since 2011, the Keck Array has deployed over 2500 transition edge sensor (TES) bolometer detectors at 100 and 150 GHz to the South Pole in pursuit of degree-scale B-modes, and Bicep3 will follow in 2015 with 2500 more at 100 GHz. Characterizing the spectral response of these detectors is important for controlling systematic effects that could lead to leakage from the temperature to polarization signal, and for understanding potential coupling to atmospheric and astrophysical emission lines. We present complete spectral characterization of the Keck Array detectors, made with a Martin-Puplett Fourier Transform Spectrometer at the South Pole, and preliminary spectra of Bicep3 detectors taken in lab. We show band centers and effective bandwidths for both Keck Array bands, and use models of the atmosphere at the South Pole to cross check our absolute calibration. Our procedure for obtaining interferograms in the field with automated 4-axis coupling to the focal plane represents an important step towards efficient and complete spectral characterization of next-generation instruments more than 10000 detectors.
Searching for evidence of inflation by measuring B-modes in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization at degree angular scales remains one of the most compelling experimental challenges in cosmology. BICEP2 and the Keck Array are part of a program of experiments at the South Pole whose main goal is to achieve the sensitivity and systematic control necessary for measurements of the tensor-to-scalar ratio at σ(r) ~0:01. Beam imperfections that are not sufficiently accounted for are a potential source of spurious polarization that could interfere with that goal. The strategy of BICEP2 and the Keck Array is to completely characterize their telescopes' polarized beam response with a combination of in-lab, pre-deployment, and on-site calibrations. We Sereport the status of these experiments, focusing on continued improved understanding of their beams. Far-field measurements of the BICEP2 beam with a chopped thermal source, combined with analysis improvements, show that the level of residual beam-induced systematic errors is acceptable for the goal of σ(r) ~ 0:01 measurements. Beam measurements of the Keck Array side lobes helped identify a way to reduce optical loading with interior cold baffles, which we installed in late 2013. These baffles reduced total optical loading, leading to a ~ 10% increase in mapping speed for the 2014 observing season. The sensitivity of the Keck Array continues to improve: for the 2013 season it was 9:5 μK _/s noise equivalent temperature (NET). In 2014 we converted two of the 150-GHz cameras to 100 GHz for foreground separation capability. We have shown that the BICEP2 and the Keck Array telescope technology is sufficient for the goal of σ(r) ~ 0:01 measurements. Furthermore, the program is continuing with BICEP3, a 100-GHz telescope with 2560 detectors.
The Bicep2 and Keck Array experiments are designed to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on angular scales of 2-4 degrees (ℓ = 50–100). This is the region in which the B-mode signal, a signature prediction of cosmic inflation, is expected to peak. Bicep2 was deployed to the South Pole at the end of 2009 and is in the middle of its third year of observing with 500 polarization-sensitive detectors at 150 GHz. The Keck Array was deployed to the South Pole at the end of 2010, initially with three receivers—each similar to Bicep2. An additional two receivers have been added during the 2011-12 summer. We give an overview of the two experiments, report on substantial gains in the sensitivity of the two experiments after post-deployment optimization, and show preliminary maps of CMB polarization from Bicep2.
The Keck Array (SPUD) began observing the cosmic microwave background's polarization in the winter of 2011 at the South Pole. The Keck Array follows the success of the predecessor experiments BICEP and BICEP2, 1 using five on-axis refracting telescopes. These have a combined imaging array of 2500 antenna-coupled TES bolometers read with a SQUID- based time domain multiplexing system. We will discuss the detector noise and the optimization of the readout. The achieved sensitivity of the Keck Array is 11.5 μKCMB√s in the 2012 configuration.
Between the BICEP2 and Keck Array experiments, we have deployed over 1500 dual polarized antenna coupled bolometers
to map the Cosmic Microwave Background’s polarization. We have been able to rapidly deploy these detectors because
they are completely planar with an integrated phased-array antenna. Through our experience in these experiments, we
have learned of several challenges with this technology- specifically the beam synthesis in the antenna- and in this paper
we report on how we have modified our designs to mitigate these challenges. In particular, we discus differential steering
errors between the polarization pairs’ beam centroids due to microstrip cross talk and gradients of penetration depth in the
niobium thin films of our millimeter wave circuits. We also discuss how we have suppressed side lobe response with a
Gaussian taper of our antenna illumination pattern. These improvements will be used in Spider, Polar-1, and this season’s
retrofit of Keck Array.
The Keck Array (SPUD) is a set of microwave polarimeters that observes from the South Pole at degree angular scales in search of a signature of Inflation imprinted as B-mode polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The first three Keck Array receivers were deployed during the 2010-2011 Austral summer, followed by two new receivers in the 2011-2012 summer season, completing the full five-receiver array. All five receivers are currently observing at 150 GHz. The Keck Array employs the field-proven BICEP/ BICEP2 strategy of using small, cold, on-axis refractive optics, providing excellent control of systematics while maintaining a large field of view. This design allows for full characterization of far-field optical performance using microwave sources on the ground. We describe our efforts to characterize the main beam shape and beam shape mismatch between co-located orthogonally-polarized detector pairs, and discuss the implications of measured differential beam parameters on temperature to polarization leakage in CMB analysis.