2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Collaborative Research: BICEP2 and SPUD - A search for inflation with degree-scale polarimetry from the South Pole
The BICEP2 telescope with the 10-meter aperture South Pole Telescope visible in the background. Photo Credit: Steffen Richter. 

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili


ASC POC/Implementer:
Elizabeth Watson / Paul Sullivan

Dr. John Kovac (Principal Investigator)
http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/CMB/bicep2/External Non U.S. Government Site

Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Supporting Stations:  South Pole Station
Research Locations:  DSL (Dark Sector Lab)

Project Description:
The Cosmic Gravitational-wave Background (CGB) imprints a signature in the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Detecting that signature is arguably the most important goal in cosmology today. BICEP is the first CMB polarimeter specifically designed to search for the signature of the CGB. Since 2006, BICEP has mapped about 2% of the sky that is uniquely free of galactic confusion. SPUD ( Pryke A-149-S, aka "The Keck Array") is an array of receivers similar to BICEP2 and together they provide a further increase in mapping speed and the possibility of multiple frequencies. These receivers are more compact, use pulse tube cryogenic refrigerators rather than liquid helium, and share the former DASI mount near MAPO. This work comprises two projects: Clem Pryke’s SPUD/Keck Array component (A-149), and John Kovac’s BICEP2 component (A-039).

Field Season Overview:
Work on BICEP2 includes final astronomical observations, calibrations, shutdown and decommissioning the instrument, and packing and shipping everything for retrograde. In early November, the first BICEP2 team members will arrive to begin season-end calibrations, inventory, and packing activity. Final observations and calibrations are contingent on the remaining helium supply from the winter lasting into December. Researchers expect to allow BICEP2 to warm no later than December 24, and then disassembled. This delicate work will take place entirely within the BICEP area of the DSL.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Colin Bischoff
  • Kirit Karkare
  • Jonathan Kaufman
  • Hien Nguyen
  • Steffen Richter
  • Chin Lin Wong

Return to Science Planning Summary Indexes Return to top of page Print this Page

Project Indexes
Find information about current USAP projects using the principal investigator, event number station, and other indexes.
Project Search
Looking for a particular project? Search by project title, or project team member here.
2012-2013 Field Season other information: Station Schedules Air Operations Staffed Field Camps Event Numbering System
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share This Site on Pinterest Subscribe to USAP RSS Feeds Share Via Email
Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Office of Polar Programs