2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Cosmological research with the 10-meter South Pole Telescope

Cosmological research with the 10-meter South Pole Telescope


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1248097

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Neal Scheibe / Paul Sullivan

Principal Investigator

Dr. John Carlstrom

University of Chicago
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Chicago, Illinois

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: South Pole Station; instruments operate year around.


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 upcoming season is similar to last year in that SPT team members will conduct CMB measurements and will install the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). There will be continued use of the MAPO machine shop as an overall station resource, staffed by A-379-S personnel.

Deploying Team Members

  • Adam Anderson
  • Amy Bender
  • Bradford Benson
  • John Carlstrom (PI)
  • Thomas Crawford
  • Tijmen de Haan
  • Junjia Ding
  • Matthew Dobbs
  • Daniel Dutcher
  • Wendeline Everett
  • Jason Henning
  • William Holzapfel (Co-PI)
  • Nicholas Huang
  • Junhan Kim
  • Amy Lowitz
  • Daniel Marrone
  • Joshua Montgomery
  • Andrew Nadolski
  • Erik Nichols
  • Stephen Padin (Co-PI)
  • Stephen Padin (Co-PI)
  • Zhaodi Pan
  • David Pernic
  • Chrystian Posada Arbelaez
  • Thakur Ritoban
  • James Sayre
  • Joshua Sobrin
  • Kyle Story
  • Nathan Whitehorn