2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2017-2018 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 / Leah Street

Principal Investigator

Dr. John Carlstrom

University of Chicago
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Chicago, Illinois

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: Dark Sector Laboratory


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
  • Jessica Avva
  • Amy Bender
  • Bradford Benson
  • John Carlstrom (PI)
  • Faustin Carter
  • Thomas Crawford
  • Tijmen de Haan
  • Daniel Dutcher
  • Allen Foster
  • William Holzapfel (Co-PI)
  • Nicholas Huang
  • Junhan Kim
  • Milo Korman
  • Donna Kubik
  • Daniel Marrone
  • Joshua Montgomery
  • Andrew Nadolski
  • Zhaodi Pan
  • David Pernic
  • Alexandra Rahlin
  • Joshua Sobrin
  • Nathan Whitehorn
  • Matthew Young