Polarization calibration of the BICEP3 CMB polarimeter at the South Pole

J. Cornelison, P. A.R. Ade, Z. Ahmed, M. Amiri, D. Barkats, R. Basu Thakur, C. Bischoff, J. J. Bock, H. Boenish, E. Bullock, V. Buza, J. R. Cheshire, J. Connors, M. Crumrine, A. J. Cukierman, E. V. Denison, M. Dierickx, L. Duband, M. Eiben, S. FatigoniJ. P. Filippini, S. Fliescher, N. Goeckner-Wald, D. C. Goldfinger, J. A. Grayson, P. Grimes, G. Hall, G. Halal, M. Halpern, S. A. Harrison, S. Henderson, S. Hildebrandt, G. C. Hilton, J. Hubmayr, H. Hui, K. D. Irwin, J. Kang, K. Karkare, E. Karpel, S. Kefeli, S. A. Kernasovkiy, J. M. Kovac, C. L. Kuo, K. Lau, E. Leitch, K. G. Megerian, L. Minutolo, L. Moncelsi, Y. Nakato, T. Namikawa, H. T. Nguyen, R. O'Brient, R. W. Ogburn, S. Palladino, N. Precup, T. Prouve, C. Pryke, B. Racine, C. D. Reintsema, S. Richter, A. Schillaci, B. Schmitt, R. Schwarz, C. D. Sheehy, A. Soliman, T. St. Germaine, B. Steinbach, R. V. Sudiwala, G. P. Teply, K. L. Thompson, J. E. Tolan, C. Tucker, A. D. Turner, C. Umilta, A. G. Vieregg, A. Wandui, A. C. Weber, D. V. Wiebe, J. Willmert, C. L. Wong, W. L.K. Wu, E. Yang, K. W. Yoon, E. Young, C. Yu, L. Zeng, C. Zhang, S. Zhang

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


The BICEP3 CMB Polarimeter is a small-Aperture refracting telescope located at the South Pole and is specifically designed to search for the possible signature of inflationary gravitational waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The experiment measures polarization on the sky by differencing the signal of co-located, orthogonally polarized antennas coupled to Transition Edge Sensor (TES) detectors. We present precise measurements of the absolute polarization response angles and polarization efficiencies for nearly all of BICEP3's ∼800 functioning polarization-sensitive detector pairs from calibration data taken in January 2018. Using a Rotating Polarized Source (RPS), we mapped polarization response for each detector over a full 360 degrees of source rotation and at multiple telescope boresight rotations from which per-pair polarization properties were estimated. In future work, these results will be used to constrain signals predicted by exotic physical models such as Cosmic Birefringence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy X
EditorsJonas Zmuidzinas, Jian-Rong Gao
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636934
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy X 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Dec 14 2020Dec 22 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy X 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The BICEP/Keck project (including BICEP2, BICEP3 and BICEP Array) have been made possible through a series of grants from the National Science Foundation including 0742818, 0742592, 1044978, 1110087, 1145172, 1145143, 1145248, 1639040, 1638957, 1638978, 1638970, 1726917, 1313010, 1313062, 1313158, 1313287, 0960243, 1836010, 1056465, & 1255358 and by the Keck Foundation. The development of antenna-coupled detector technology was supported by the JPL Research and Technology Development Fund and NASA Grants 06-ARPA206-0040, 10-SAT10-0017, 12-SAT12-0031, 14-SAT14-0009, 16-SAT16-0002, & 18-SAT18-0017. The development and testing of focal planes were supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation at Caltech. Readout electronics were supported by a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to UBC. The computations in this paper were run on the Odyssey cluster supported by the FAS Science Division Research Computing Group at Harvard University. The analysis effort at Stanford and SLAC was partially supported by the Department of Energy, Contract DE-AC02-76SF00515. We thank the staff of the U.S. Antarctic Program and in particular the South Pole Station without whose help this research would not have been possible. Tireless administrative support was provided by Kathy Deniston, Sheri Stoll, Irene Coyle, Donna Hernandez, and Dana Volponi.

Publisher Copyright:
© COPYRIGHT SPIE. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


  • Calibration
  • Cosmic Microwave Background
  • Polarization


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