EBEX: A balloon-borne CMB polarization experiment

Britt Reichborn-Kjennerud, Asad M. Aboobaker, Peter Ade, François Aubin, Carlo Baccigalupi, Chaoyun Bao, Julian Borrill, Christopher Cantalupo, Daniel Chapman, Joy Didier, Matt Dobbs, Julien Grain, William Grainger, Shaul Hanany, Seth Hillbrand, Johannes Hubmayr, Andrew Jaffe, Bradley Johnson, Terry Jones, Theodore KisnerJeff Klein, Andrei Korotkov, Sam Leach, Adrian Lee, Lorne Levinson, Michele Limon, Kevin MacDermid, Tomotake Matsumura, Xiaofan Meng, Amber Miller, Michael Milligan, Enzo Pascale, Daniel Polsgrove, Nicolas Ponthieu, Kate Raach, Ilan Sagiv, Graeme Smecher, Federico Stivoli, Radek Stompor, Huan Tran, Matthieu Tristram, Gregory S. Tucker, Yury Vinokurov, Amit Yadav, Matias Zaldarriaga, Kyle Zilic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

90 Scopus citations


EBEX is a NASA-funded balloon-borne experiment designed to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Observations will be made using 1432 transition edge sensor (TES) bolometric detectors read out with frequency multiplexed SQuIDs. EBEX will observe in three frequency bands centered at 150, 250, and 410 GHz, with 768, 384, and 280 detectors in each band, respectively. This broad frequency coverage is designed to provide valuable information about polarized foreground signals from dust. The polarized sky signals will be modulated with an achromatic half wave plate (AHWP) rotating on a superconducting magnetic bearing (SMB) and analyzed with a fixed wire grid polarizer. EBEX will observe a patch covering ~1% of the sky with 8' resolution, allowing for observation of the angular power spectrum from l = 20 to 1000. This will allow EBEX to search for both the primordial B-mode signal predicted by inflation and the anticipated lensing B-mode signal. Calculations to predict EBEX constraints on r using expected noise levels show that, for a likelihood centered around zero and with negligible foregrounds, 99% of the area falls below r = 0.035. This value increases by a factor of 1.6 after a process of foreground subtraction. This estimate does not include systematic uncertainties. An engineering flight was launched in June, 2009, from Ft. Sumner, NM, and the long duration science flight in Antarctica is planned for 2011. These proceedings describe the EBEX instrument and the North American engineering flight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy V
ISBN (Print)9780819482310
StatePublished - 2010
EventMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy V - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 29 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • B-mode
  • Balloon-borne
  • CMB Polarization
  • EBEX


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