2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Cosmological research with the 10-meter South Pole Telescope
Dr. John Carlstrom
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
The South Pole Telescope (SPT) aids cosmological research by measuring the intensity and polarization anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. The project's goal is detecting all galaxy clusters in this region of the sky through the spectral distortion they impart on the CMB. Called the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, it has the remarkable property of being independent of the distance to the cluster. The second key project started in 2012 with the installation of an ultra-sensitive polarization receiver. Through measurements of the polarization, researchers can determine the sum of the masses of the neutrinos and either detect or set stringent upper limits on the energy scale of inflation.
Field Season Overview
The team will perform maintenance on the telescope drive electronics, and the SPT-3G and Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) receivers. The SPT-3G receiver upgrade will require removal of the cryostat from the telescope, and opening it up to replace portions of the optics and cold-readout hardware. Most of this work will happen in November and December, with a goal of having the receiver re-installed on the telescope by the end of December. Support contractor staff will install chain-link fencing in the former load-leveler room and work with the researchers on configuring the rest of the space.
Deploying Team Members