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BICEP2. II. Experiment and three-year data

Ade, Peter A. R. ORCID:, Aikin, R. W., Amiri, M., Barkats, D., Benton, S. J., Bischoff, C. A., Bock, J. J., Brevik, J. A., Buder, I., Bullock, E., Davis, G., Day, P. K., Dowell, C. D., Duband, L., Filippini, J. P., Fliescher, S., Golwala, S. R., Halpern, M., Hasselfield, M., Hildebrandt, S. R., Hilton, G. C., Irwin, K. D., Karkare, K. S., Kaufman, J. P., Keating, B. G., Kernasovskiy, S. A., Kovac, J. M., Kuo, C. L., Leitch, E. M., Llombart, N., Lueker, M., Netterfield, C. B., Nguyen, H. T., O'Brient, R., Ogburn, R. W., Orlando, A., Pryke, C., Reintsema, C. D., Richter, S., Schwarz, R., Sheehy, C. D., Staniszewski, Z. K., Story, K. T., Sudiwala, Rashmikant ORCID:, Teply, G. P., Tolan, J. E., Turner, A. D., Vieregg, A. G., Wilson, P., Wong, C. L. and Yoon, K. W. 2014. BICEP2. II. Experiment and three-year data. The Astrophysical Journal 792 (1) , p. 62. 10.1088/0004-637X/792/1/62

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We report on the design and performance of the BICEP2 instrument and on its three-year data set. BICEP2 was designed to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on angular scales of 1°-5°(ℓ = 40-200), near the expected peak of the B-mode polarization signature of primordial gravitational waves from cosmic inflation. Measuring B-modes requires dramatic improvements in sensitivity combined with exquisite control of systematics. The BICEP2 telescope observed from the South Pole with a 26 cm aperture and cold, on-axis, refractive optics. BICEP2 also adopted a new detector design in which beam-defining slot antenna arrays couple to transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometers, all fabricated on a common substrate. The antenna-coupled TES detectors supported scalable fabrication and multiplexed readout that allowed BICEP2 to achieve a high detector count of 500 bolometers at 150 GHz, giving unprecedented sensitivity to B-modes at degree angular scales. After optimization of detector and readout parameters, BICEP2 achieved an instrument noise-equivalent temperature of $15.8\ \mu \mathrm{K}\sqrt{\mathrm{s}}$. The full data set reached Stokes Q and U map depths of 87.2 nK in square-degree pixels (5farcm2 μK) over an effective area of 384 deg2 within a 1000 deg2 field. These are the deepest CMB polarization maps at degree angular scales to date. The power spectrum analysis presented in a companion paper has resulted in a significant detection of B-mode polarization at degree scales.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: IOP Science
ISSN: 1538-4357
Date of Acceptance: 15 July 2014
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 09:58

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