2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
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2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Imaging the beginning of time from the South Pole: The next stage of the BICEP program

no photo available


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1638957

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Neal Scheibe / Paul Sullivan / Leah Street

Principal Investigator

Dr. John Kovac

Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: MAPO (Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory) / DSL (Dark Sector Laboratory)


This project continues the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP)/Keck/BICEP3 program of cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization observations while initiating the phased upgrade to the new BICEP array. This upgrade follows the tradition of improving upon the previous generation’s detectors housed in the mounts originally built for the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer (DASI), then subsequently used by the Small Polarimeter Upgrade for DASI (SPUD) and most recently the Keck Array.

Field Season Overview

At station opening, a team will arrive to perform calibrations on their receivers. The will use the MAPO roof crane to take down three of the receivers for focal-plane replacement. Once that is done, and the receivers are re-mounted, they will run test observations and perform any necessary calibrations.

Deploying Team Members

  • Denis Barkats
  • Colin Bischoff
  • Hans Boenish
  • James Cornelison
  • Marion Dierickx
  • Grantland Hall
  • Mark Halpern
  • Sinan Kefeli
  • John Kovac (PI)
  • Erik Nichols
  • Robert Schwarz
  • Michael St Germaine
  • Bryan Steinbach
  • Justin Willmert
  • Eric Yang