280 GHz Focal Plane Unit Design and Characterization for the Spider-2 Suborbital Polarimeter

A. S. Bergman, P. A.R. Ade, S. Akers, M. Amiri, J. A. Austermann, J. A. Beall, D. T. Becker, S. J. Benton, J. J. Bock, J. R. Bond, S. A. Bryan, H. C. Chiang, C. R. Contaldi, R. S. Domagalski, O. Doré, S. M. Duff, A. J. Duivenvoorden, H. K. Eriksen, M. Farhang, J. P. FilippiniL. M. Fissel, A. A. Fraisse, K. Freese, M. Galloway, A. E. Gambrel, N. N. Gandilo, K. Ganga, A. Grigorian, R. Gualtieri, J. E. Gudmundsson, M. Halpern, J. Hartley, M. Hasselfield, G. Hilton, W. Holmes, V. V. Hristov, Z. Huang, J. Hubmayr, K. D. Irwin, W. C. Jones, A. Khan, C. L. Kuo, Z. D. Kermish, S. Li, P. V. Mason, K. Megerian, L. Moncelsi, T. A. Morford, J. M. Nagy, C. B. Netterfield, M. Nolta, B. Osherson, I. L. Padilla, B. Racine, A. S. Rahlin, S. Redmond, C. Reintsema, L. J. Romualdez, J. E. Ruhl, M. C. Runyan, T. M. Ruud, J. A. Shariff, E. C. Shaw, C. Shiu, J. D. Soler, X. Song, A. Trangsrud, C. Tucker, R. S. Tucker, A. D. Turner, J. Ullom, J. F. van der List, J. Van Lanen, M. R. Vissers, A. C. Weber, I. K. Wehus, S. Wen, D. V. Wiebe, E. Y. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe the construction and characterization of the 280 GHz bolometric focal plane units (FPUs) to be deployed on the second flight of the balloon-borne Spider instrument. These FPUs are vital to Spider’s primary science goal of detecting or placing an upper limit on the amplitude of the primordial gravitational wave signature in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) by constraining the B-mode contamination in the CMB from Galactic dust emission. Each 280 GHz focal plane contains a 16 × 16 grid of corrugated silicon feedhorns coupled to an array of aluminum–manganese transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometers fabricated on 150 mm diameter substrates. In total, the three 280 GHz FPUs contain 1530 polarization-sensitive bolometers (765 spatial pixels) optimized for the low loading environment in flight and read out by time-division SQUID multiplexing. In this paper, we describe the mechanical, thermal, and magnetic shielding architecture of the focal planes and present cryogenic measurements which characterize yield and the uniformity of several bolometer parameters. The assembled FPUs have high yields, with one array as high as 95% including defects from wiring and readout. We demonstrate high uniformity in device parameters, finding the median saturation power for each TES array to be ∼ 3 pW at 300 mK with a less than 6% variation across each array at 1 σ. These focal planes will be deployed alongside the 95 and 150 GHz telescopes in the Spider-2 instrument, slated to fly from McMurdo Station in Antarctica in December 2018.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1075-1084
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Detector packaging
  • Magnetic shielding
  • Scientific ballooning
  • Transition-edge sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of '280 GHz Focal Plane Unit Design and Characterization for the Spider-2 Suborbital Polarimeter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this