An overview of the SPTpol experiment

L. Bleem, P. Ade, K. Aird, J. Austermann, J. Beall, D. Becker, B. Benson, J. Britton, J. Carlstrom, C. L. Chang, H. Cho, T. De Haan, T. Crawford, A. Crites, A. Datesman, M. Dobbs, W. Everett, A. Ewall-Wice, E. George, N. HalversonN. Harrington, J. Henning, G. Hilton, W. Holzapfel, S. Hoover, J. Hubmayr, K. Irwin, R. Keisler, J. Kennedy, A. Lee, E. Leitch, D. Li, M. Lueker, D. P. Marrone, J. McMahon, J. Mehl, S. Meyer, J. Montgomery, T. Montroy, T. Natoli, J. Nibarger, M. Niemack, V. Novosad, S. Padin, C. Pryke, C. Reichardt, J. Ruhl, B. Saliwanchik, J. Sayre, K. Schafer, E. Shirokoff, K. Story, K. Vanderlinde, J. Vieira, G. Wang, R. Williamson, V. Yefremenko, K. W. Yoon, E. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 feedhorncoupled TES polarimeters fabricated at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At 90 GHz, we use individually packaged dual-polarization absorbercoupled 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-864
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bolometers
  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Cosmology
  • Polarimetry
  • Transition-edge sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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