2019-2020 Science Planning Summaries
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2019-2020 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

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

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A-149-S Research Location(s): South Pole


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1638957

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Paul Sullivan / Leah Street

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. John Kovac
Harvard University
Department of Astronomy
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: South Pole


This project continues the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP)/Keck/BICEP3 program of observing cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization while also 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

This season the research team will focus on the large-scale upgrade planned in coordination with ASC to replace Keck Array with the first receiver of BICEP Array. The work will be directed toward three major goals: (1) replacing the DASI mount currently in use in the MAPO tower with a new mount; (2) deploying the first BICEP Array receiver (BA1) operating at 30-40 GHz and retrofitting the Keck receivers into the new mount; and (3) performing maintenance and minor upgrades to the ongoing BICEP3 experiment.

Deploying Team Members

  • James Cheshire IV
  • James Cornelison
  • Michael Crumrine
  • Ariel Cukierman
  • Marion Dierickx
  • Grantland Hall
  • John Kovac (PI)
  • King Lau
  • Ahmed Mohamed
  • Lorenzo Moncelsi
  • Steven Palladino
  • Nathan Precup
  • Clement Pryke (Co-PI)
  • Thakur Ritoban
  • Alessandro Schillaci
  • Benjamin Schmitt
  • Bryan Steinbach
  • Edward Young
  • Cyndia Yu
  • Cheng Zhang