2022-2023 Science Planning Summary
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2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Cosmological research with the 10-meter South Pole Telescope

South Pole Telescope. Photo by Matthew Young, courtesy of the NSF/USAP Photo Library. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
A-379-S Research Location(s): South Pole Station


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

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: South Pole Station


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

The plan for the upcoming season is to perform maintenance on the telescope, and the SPT-3G and EHT receivers. We expect generally modest cargo and support this season. We request primarily three teams of deployments to handle different aspects of the winter-over training, SPT maintenance, EHT repairs, and survey operations: A: Early November: Deploy a seven-person team, including the two SPT winter-overs and the summer machinist. They will relieve the current winter-overs, continue SPT survey observations, and begin onsite training of the new SPT winter-overs. B: Late November: Deploy an additional three-person team to do repairs to the EHT receiver, begin test observations with the EHT on SPT, and train the 2023 winter-overs in EHT operations. In parallel, the “A" team will perform maintenance on the telescope and SPT-3G receiver, and continue SPT observations when possible. C: Mid-December: Deploy an additional two-person team, which will relieve the “A” team. During this period, we should have completed a significant majority of the telescope and receiver maintenance, and will focus on continuing SPT summer survey observations and use this period for winter-over training. Finally, we will send down the winter machinist in early February.

Deploying Team Members

  • Melanie Archipley
  • Bradford Benson (Co-PI)
  • Paul Chichura
  • Karia Dibert
  • Kyle Ferguson
  • Riccardo Gualtieri
  • Junhan Kim
  • Amy Lowitz
  • Chelsea Neske
  • Alexander Pollak
  • Alexandra Rahlin
  • Maclean Rouble