, Volume 167, Issue 5-6, pp 859-864
Date: 24 Jan 2012

An Overview of the SPTpol Experiment

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In 2012 the South Pole Telescope (SPT) will begin a 625 deg2 survey to measure the polarization anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Observations of the CMB B-mode angular power spectrum will be used to search for the large angular scale signal induced by inflationary gravitational waves. Additionally, the B-mode spectrum will enable a measurement of the neutrino mass through the gravitational lensing of the CMB. The new 780 pixel polarization-sensitive camera is composed of two different detector architectures and will map the sky at two frequencies. At 150 GHz, the camera consists of arrays of corrugated feedhorn-coupled TES polarimeters fabricated at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At 90 GHz, we use individually packaged dual-polarization absorber-coupled polarimeters developed at Argonne National Laboratory. Each 90 GHz pixel couples to the telescope through machined contoured feedhorns. The entire focal plane is read out using a digital frequency-domain multiplexer system. We discuss the design and goals of this experiment and provide a description of the detectors.