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