The Development and Deployment of Instrumentation to Measure the Polarized Microwave Sky
Helson, Kyle Robert (creator)
Tucker, Gregory (Director)
Dell'Antonio, Ian (Reader)
Pober, Jonathan (Reader)
Brown University. Physics (sponsor)
Measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) made over the last 25 years have ushered in the era of precision cosmology. The E and B EXperiment (EBEX) was a long-duration balloon-borne (LDB) instrument designed to measure the polarization of the CMB. EBEX was designed to measure the B-mode polarization signal from inflationary gravitational waves, detect the gravitational lensing of the polarization of the CMB, and to characterize polarized Galactic foreground emission. Polarimetry is achieved with a rotating half-wave plate paired with a wire grid polarizer. The EBEX payload flew on scientific Antarctic LDB flight in 2012-2013. The design, construction, and deployment of the EBEX instrumentation, including pointing sensors, mechanical gondola design, and thermal management are described. The LDB flight performance of the subsystems are examined. Additionally, the analysis of EBEX LDB datasets from pointing sensors, half-wave plate synchronous time streams, and bolometer internal calibrator events are discussed as well as the progress towards the publication of final data products. Additionally, the development and characterization of a polarization sensitive mirror for use in reflective polarizers and variable-delay polarization modulators (VPMs) is discussed.