2020-2021 Science Planning Summaries
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2020-2021 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
A-379-S Research Location(s): Dark Sector Lab (DSL) located in the Dark Sector.


Event Number:
NSF / OPP Award 2147371

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Paul Sullivan / Sheryl Seagraves / Leah Street

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. John Carlstrom
University of Chicago
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Chicago, Illinois


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: Dark Sector Lab (DSL) located in the Dark Sector.


This project will conduct measurements of the 14-billion-year-old cosmic microwave background (CMB) with the South Pole Telescope (SPT) to address some of the most basic and compelling questions regarding the origin and composition of the universe. The telescope's siting is ideal for ultra-low-noise imaging surveys of the sky at the millimeter and submillimeter radio wavelengths. This unique geographical location allows SPT to obtain extremely sensitive 24/7 observations of targeted, low-galactic, foreground regions of the sky. The telescope's third-generation SPT-3G receiver has 16,000 detectors configured for polarization-sensitive observations in three millimeter-wave bands. The proposed operations also support SPT's critical role in the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a global array of telescopes to image the event horizon around the black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Field Season Overview

During the 2020-21 summer and winter austral seasons, two winter over grantees will deploy along with the machinist to perform routine maintenance on the telescope and perform machine shop services. The reduced numbers are in response to NSF guidance limiting personnel due to the COVID-19 virus. The current winter overs will remain on station to train the arriving personnel. A maximum of six SPT grantees will be on station.

Deploying Team Members

  • Adam Anderson
  • Melanie Archipley
  • Amy Bender
  • Bradford Benson
  • Karia Dibert
  • Wendeline Everett
  • Kyle Ferguson
  • Riccardo Gualtieri
  • Sam Guns
  • William Holzapfel
  • Nicholas Huang
  • Junhan Kim
  • Daniel Marrone
  • Alexandra Rahlin
  • Judith Stephen
  • Matthew Young