2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Imaging the beginning of time from the South Pole: The next stage of the BICEP program
Dr. John Kovac
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
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, the team will use the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory (MAPO) roof crane to take down one of the five Keck array receivers. It will be replaced with a 150 GHz receiver retrofitted with new UHF multiplexer readout hardware for focal-plane replacement. Once that is done, and the receivers are re-mounted, they will run test observations and perform any necessary calibrations. Support contractors will enlarge the opening in the ground shield and continue to work with the BICEP team to plan the installation of the BICEP array in 2019-20.
Deploying Team Members