2021-2022 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Read the latest information from NSF on coronavirus (COVID-19)
2021-2022 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

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

The BICEP Array telescope at South Pole, with its calibration mast in foreground and other CMB telescopes at Pole visible in the background.
Photo by Nathan Precup, for BICEP Array project.
A-149-S Research Location(s): South Pole Station - Dark Sector


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

ASC POC/Implementer:
Paul Sullivan / Sheryl Seagraves / 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 Station - Dark Sector


This project continues the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP)/Keck/BICEP3 program of observing the cosmic microwave background (CMB) mm-submm radiation, while also initiating the phased upgrade to the BICEP array of four newly developed receivers. This upgrade follows the tradition of improving upon the previous generation’s detectors: the Digital Angular Scale Interferometer (DASI), the Small Polarimeter Upgrade for DASI (SPUD), and, most recently, the BICEP/Keck Array. During the 2022-23 summer season, we will carry out: 1) The deployment of the second BICEP Array receiver (BA2) operating at 150 GHz, and retro of the Keck receiver replaced by BA2. The assembly of the receiver will take place in the MAPO control room and AMANDA room. The new receiver will be characterized in the lab prior to installation in the mount. 2) Maintenance and minor upgrades to the ongoing BICEP3 experiment. 3) Winterover training to allow continued observations with BICEP3 and BICEP Array during the 2023 winter season.

Field Season Overview

Six participants will deploy to the South Pole. The two winter-over team members currently onsite will remain there to train their two replacements. The goals for the season will include replacing detector tiles in BICEP Array1 and continuing support of the BICEP3 experiment.

Deploying Team Members

  • Brandon Amat
  • James Cheshire IV
  • James Cornelison
  • Thomas Leps
  • Karsten Look
  • Ahmed Mohamed
  • Alessandro Schillaci
  • Calvin Tsai
  • Cyndia Yu
  • Cheng Zhang
  • Silvia Zhang