We discuss MAXIPOL, a bolometric balloon-borne experiment designed to measure the E-mode polarization anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) on angular scales of 10′ to 2°. MAXIPOL is the first CMB experiment to collect data with a polarimeter that utilizes a rotating half-wave plate and fixed wire-grid polarizer. We present the instrument design, elaborate on the polarimeter strategy and show the instrument performance during flight with some time domain data. Our primary dataset was collected during a 26 h turnaround flight that was launched from the National Scientific Ballooning Facility in Ft. Sumner, New Mexico in May 2003. During this flight five regions of the sky were mapped. Data analysis is in progress.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Danny Ball and the other staff members at NASA’s National Scientific Ballooning Facility in Ft. Sumner, New Mexico for their outstanding support of the MAXIPOL program. We also thank the members of the Electronics and Data Acquisition Unit in the Faculty of Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. MAXIPOL is supported by NASA Grants NAG5-12718, NAG5-3941 and S-92548-F; a NASA GSRP Fellowship for B. Johnson; the Land McKnight Professorship at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for S. Hanany; and the Miller Institute at the University of California, Berkeley for H. Tran.