Measuring Reionization, Neutrino Mass, and Cosmic Inflation with BFORE

Sean Bryan, Peter Ade, J. Richard Bond, Francois Boulanger, Mark Devlin, Simon Doyle, Jeffrey Filippini, Laura Fissel, Christopher Groppi, Gilbert Holder, Johannes Hubmayr, Philip Mauskopf, Jeffrey McMahon, Johanna Nagy, C. Barth Netterfield, Michael Niemack, Giles Novak, Enzo Pascale, Giampaolo Pisano, John RuhlDouglas Scott, Juan Soler, Carole Tucker, Joaquin Vieira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BFORE is a NASA high-altitude ultra-long-duration balloon mission proposed to measure the cosmic microwave background (CMB) across half the sky during a 28-day mid-latitude flight launched from Wanaka, New Zealand. With the unique access to large angular scales and high frequencies provided by the balloon platform, BFORE will significantly improve measurements of the optical depth to reionization τ, breaking parameter degeneracies needed for a measurement of neutrino mass with the CMB. The large-angular-scale data will enable BFORE to hunt for the large-scale gravitational wave B-mode signal, as well as the degree-scale signal, each at the r∼ 0.01 level. The balloon platform allows BFORE to map Galactic dust foregrounds at frequencies where they dominate, in order to robustly separate them from CMB signals measured by BFORE, in addition to complementing data from ground-based telescopes. The combination of frequencies will also lead to velocity measurements for thousands of galaxy clusters, as well as probing how star-forming galaxies populate dark matter halos. The mission will be the first near-space use of TES multichroic detectors (150/217 GHz and 280/353 GHz bands) using highly multiplexed mSQUID microwave readout, raising the technical readiness level of both technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1040
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Inflation
  • Microwave SQUID
  • Neutrinos
  • Reionization
  • Scientific ballooning
  • TES detectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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