An All Silicon Feedhorn-Coupled Focal Plane for Cosmic Microwave Background Polarimetry

Abstract

Upcoming experiments aim to produce high fidelity polarization maps of the cosmic microwave background. To achieve the required sensitivity, we are developing monolithic, feedhorn-coupled transition edge sensor polarimeter arrays operating at 150 GHz. We describe this focal plane architecture and the current status of this technology, focusing on single-pixel polarimeters being deployed on the Atacama B-mode Search (ABS) and an 84-pixel demonstration feedhorn array backed by four 10-pixel polarimeter arrays. The feedhorn array exhibits symmetric beams, cross-polar response <−23 dB and excellent uniformity across the array. Monolithic polarimeter arrays, including arrays of silicon feedhorns, will be used in the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) and the South Pole Telescope Polarimeter (SPTpol) and have been proposed for upcoming balloon-borne instruments.

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Notes

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    Emerson and Cuming Microwave Products, http://www.eccosorb.com. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the materials or equipment identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose.

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Acknowledgements

Work at NIST is supported by the NIST Innovations in Measurement Science program. The University of Chicago is supported by grants from the NSF (awards ANT-0638937 and PHY-0114422), the Kavli Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. B.L. Schmidt acknowledges support from NSF GRFP and NASA NSTRF fellowships.

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Correspondence to J. Hubmayr.

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Hubmayr, J., Appel, J.W., Austermann, J.E. et al. An All Silicon Feedhorn-Coupled Focal Plane for Cosmic Microwave Background Polarimetry. J Low Temp Phys 167, 904–910 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10909-011-0420-7

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Keywords

  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Polarimeter
  • Transition edge sensor