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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We report a measurement of the power spectrum of cosmic microwave background (CMB) lensing from two seasons of Atacama Cosmology Telescope polarimeter (ACTPol) CMB data. The CMB lensing power spectrum is extracted from both temperature and polarization data using quadratic estimators. We obtain results that are consistent with the expectation from the best-fit Planck CDM model over a range of multipoles L 80-2100, with an amplitude of lensing A(sub lens) = 1.06 +/- 0.15 stat +/- 0.06 sys relative to Planck. Our measurement of the CMB lensing power spectrum gives sigma 8 omega m(sup 0.25) = 0.643 +/- 0.054; including baryon acoustic oscillation scale data, we constrain the amplitude of density fluctuations to be sigma 8 = 0.831 +/- 0.053. We also update constraints on the neutrino mass sum. We verify our lensing measurement with a number of null tests and systematic checks, finding no evidence of significant systematic errors. This measurement relies on a small fraction of the ACTPol data already taken; more precise lensing results can therefore be expected from the full ACTPol data set.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN44620 , Physical Review D (ISSN 1550-7998) (e-ISSN 1089-4918); 95; 12; 123529
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We present the temperature and polarization angular power spectra measuredby the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol). We analyze night-time datacollected during 2013-14 using two detector arrays at 149 GHz, from 548 deg(exp. 2) of sky onthe celestial equator. We use these spectra, and the spectra measured with the MBAC camera on ACT from 2008-10, in combination with Planck and WMAP data to estimate cosmological parameters from the temperature, polarization, and temperature-polarization cross-correlations. We find the new ACTPol data to be consistent with the CDM model. The ACTPol temperature-polarization cross-spectrum now provides stronger constraints on multiple parameters than the ACTPol temperature spectrum, including the baryon density, the acoustic peak angular scale, and the derived Hubble constant. The new ACTPol dataprovide information on damping tail parameters. The joint uncertainty on the number of neutrino species and the primordial helium fraction is reduced by 20% when adding ACTPol to Planck temperature data alone.
    Keywords: Astrophysics; Statistics and Probability
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN44626 , Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (e-ISSN 1475-7516); 2017; 6; 031
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Advanced ACTPol (Adv ACT) will use an array of multichroic polarization sensitive AIMn transition edge sensor (TES) bolometers read out through time-division multiplexing. Aluminum doped with a low concentration of manganese can be deposited to a bulk film thickness for a more reliable superconducting critical temperature uniformity compared to thin bilayers. To build the TES, the AlMn alloy is deposited, over Nb wiring, to a specific thickness to set the TES normal resistance. The doping concentration of manganese coarsely defines the TES critical temperature, while a fine tuning is achieved by heating the deposited film to a specific temperature. The TES island is connected to the thermal bath via four silicon-nitride membranes, where their geometry defines the thermal conductance to the temperature of the bath. Lastly, the TES heat capacity is increased by addition of PdAu electrically connected to the AlMn film. Designs and performance characteristics of these AlMn TESs are presented for use in AdvACT.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN32110 , Journal of Low Temperature Physics; 184; 2-Jan; 66-73
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) is a polarization sensitive upgrade to the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, located at an elevation of 5190 m on Cerro Toco in Chile. ACTPol uses transition edge sensor bolometers coupled to orthomode transducers to measure both the temperature and polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Calibration of the detector angles is a critical step in producing polarization maps of the CMB. Polarization angle offsets in the detector calibration can cause leakage in polarization from E to B modes and induce a spurious signal in the EB and TB cross correlations, which eliminates our ability to measure potential cosmological sources of EB and TB signals, such as cosmic birefringence. We calibrate the ACTPol detector angles by ray tracing the designed detector angle through the entire optical chain to determine the projection of each detector angle on the sky. The distribution of calibrated detector polarization angles are consistent with a global offset angle from zero when compared to the EB-nulling offset angle, the angle required to null the EB cross-correlation power spectrum. We present the optical modeling process. The detector angles can be cross checked through observations of known polarized sources, whether this be a galactic source or a laboratory reference standard. To cross check the ACTPol detector angles, we use a thin film polarization grid placed in front of the receiver of the telescope, between the receiver and the secondary reflector. Making use of a rapidly rotating half-wave plate (HWP) mount we spin the polarizing grid at a constant speed, polarizing and rotating the incoming atmospheric signal. The resulting sinusoidal signal is used to determine the detector angles. The optical modeling calibration was shown to be consistent with a global offset angle of zero when compared to EB nulling in the first ACTPol results and will continue to be a part of our calibration implementation. The first array of detectors for Advanced ACTPol, the next generation upgrade to ACTPol, will be deployed in 2016.We plan to continue using both techniques and compare them to astrophysical source measurements for the Advanced ACTPol polarization calibration.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN40680 , Proc. of SPIE (ISSN 0277-786X); 9914; 99142T|Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII; 26 Jun. 2016; Edinburgh; United Kingdom
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The next generation Advanced ACTPol (AdvACT) experiment is currently underway and will consist of four Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometer arrays, with three operating together, totaling 5800 detectors on the sky. Building on experience gained with the ACTPol detector arrays, AdvACT will utilize various new technologies, including 150 mm detector wafers equipped with multichroic pixels, allowing for a more densely packed focal plane. Each set of detectors includes a feedhorn array of stacked silicon wafers which form a spline pro le leading to each pixel. This is then followed by a waveguide interface plate, detector wafer, back short cavity plate, and backshort cap. Each array is housed in a custom designed structure manufactured from high purity copper and then gold plated. In addition to the detector array assembly, the array package also encloses cryogenic readout electronics. We present the full mechanical design of the AdvACT high frequency (HF) detector array package along with a detailed look at the detector array stack assemblies. This experiment will also make use of extensive hardware and software previously developed for ACT, which will be modi ed to incorporate the new AdvACT instruments. Therefore, we discuss the integration of all AdvACT arrays with pre-existing ACTPol infrastructure.
    Keywords: Astrophysics; Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN35117 , Proceedings of SPIE; 9914; 991437
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Advanced ACTPol (AdvACT) is an upgraded camera for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) that will measure the cosmic microwave background in temperature and polarization over a wide range of angular scales and five frequency bands from 28-230 GHz. AdvACT will employ four arrays of feedhorn-coupled, polarization- sensitive multichroic detectors. To accommodate the higher pixel packing densities necessary to achieve Ad- vACTs sensitivity goals, we have developed and optimized wideband spline-profiled feedhorns for the AdvACT multichroic arrays that maximize coupling efficiency while carefully controlling polarization systematics. We present the design, fabrication, and testing of wideband spline-profiled feedhorns for the multichroic arrays of AdvACT.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography; Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN35143 , SPIE Proceedings; 9914; 991416
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) is a four telescope array designed to characterize relic primordial gravitational waves from inflation and the optical depth to reionization through a measurement of the polarized cosmic microwave background (CMB) on the largest angular scales. The frequencies of the four CLASS telescopes, one at 38 GHz, two at 93 GHz, and one dichroic system at 145217 GHz, are chosen to avoid spectral regions of high atmospheric emission and span the minimum of the polarized Galactic foregrounds: synchrotron emission at lower frequencies and dust emission at higher frequencies. Low-noise transition edge sensor detectors and a rapid front-end polarization modulator provide a unique combination of high sensitivity, stability, and control of systematics. The CLASS site, at 5200 m in the Chilean Atacama desert, allows for daily mapping of up to 70% of the sky and enables the characterization of CMB polarization at the largest angular scales. Using this combination of a broad frequency range, large sky coverage, control over systematics, and high sensitivity, CLASS will observe the reionization and recombination peaks of the CMB E- and B-mode power spectra. CLASS will make a cosmic variance limited measurement of the optical depth to reionization and will measure or place upper limits on the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r, down to a level of 0.01 (95% C.L.).
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN40349 , Proceedings of SPIE (ISSN 0277-786X); 9914|Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy; 26 Jun. - 1 Jul. 2016; Edinburgh; United Kingdom
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-10-23
    Description: The Simons Observatory (SO) is a ground-based cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment sited on Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert in Chile that promises to provide breakthrough discoveries in fundamental physics, cosmology, and astrophysics. Supported by the Simons Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and with contributions from collaborating institutions, SO will see first light in 2021 and start a five year survey in 2022. SO has 287 collaborators from 12 countries and 53 institutions, including 85 students and 90 postdocs. The SO experiment in its currently funded form (SO-Nominal) consists of three 0.4 m Small Aperture Telescopes (SATs) and one 6 m Large Aperture Telescope (LAT). Optimized for minimizing systematic errors in polarization measurements at large angular scales, the SATs will perform a deep, degree-scale survey of 10% of the sky to search for the signature of primordial gravitational waves. The LAT will survey 40% of the sky with arc-minute resolution. These observations will measure (or limit) the sum of neutrino masses, search for light relics, measure the early behavior of Dark Energy, and refine our understanding of the intergalactic medium, clusters and the role of feedback in galaxy formation. With up to ten times the sensitivity and five times the angular resolution of the Planck satellite, and roughly an order of magnitude increase in mapping speed over currently operating (Stage 3) experiments, SO will measure the CMB temperature and polarization fluctuations to exquisite precision in six frequency bands from 27 to 280 GHz. SO will rapidly advance CMB science while informing the design of future observatories such as CMB-S4. Construction of SO-Nominal is fully funded, and operations and data analysis are funded for part of the planned five-year observations. We will seek federal funding to complete the observations and analysis of SO-Nominal, at the $25M level. The SO has a low risk and cost efficient upgrade path the 6 m LAT can accommodate almost twice the baseline number of detectors and the SATs can be duplicated at low cost. We will seek funding at the $75M level for an expansion of the SO (SO-Enhanced) that fills the remaining focal plane in the LAT, adds three SATs, and extends operations by five years, substantially improving our science return. By this time SO may be operating as part of the larger CMB-S4 project. This white paper summarizes and extends material presented in, which describes the science goals of SO-Nominal, and which describe the instrument design.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN74208
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-10-23
    Description: Astrophysics spans an enormous range of questions on scales from individual planets to the entire cosmos. To address the richness of 21st century astrophysics requires a corresponding richness of telescopes spanning all bands and all messengers. Much scientific benefit comes from having the multi-wavelength capability available at the same time. Most of these bands, or measurement sensitivities, require space-based missions. Historically, NASA has addressed this need for breadth with a small number of flagship-class missions and a larger number of Explorer missions. While the Explorer program continues to flourish, there is a large gap between Explorers and strategic missions.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN74206 , Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (e-ISSN 0002-7537); 51; 7; 140
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-10-23
    Description: CMB-S4 is envisioned to be the ultimate ground-based cosmic microwave background experiment, crossing critical thresholds in our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Universe, from the highest energies at the dawn of time through the growth of structure to the present day. The CMB-S4 science case is spectacular: the search for primordial gravitational waves as predicted from inflation and the imprint of relic particles including neutrinos, unique insights into dark energy and tests of gravity on large scales, elucidating the role of baryonic feedback on galaxy formation and evolution, opening up a window on the transient Universe at millimeter wavelengths, and even the exploration of the outer Solar System. The CMB-S4 sensitivity to primordial gravitational waves will probe physics at the highest energy scales and cross a major theoretically motivated threshold in constraints on inflation. The CMB-S4 search for new light relic particles will shed light on the early Universe 10,000 times farther back than current experiments can reach. Finally, the CMB-S4 Legacy Survey covering 70% of the sky with unprecedented sensitivity and angular resolution from centimeter- to millimeter-wave observing bands will have a profound and lasting impact on Astronomy and Astrophysics and provide a powerful complement to surveys at other wavelengths, such as LSST and WFIRST, and others yet to be imagined. We emphasize that these critical thresholds cannot be reached without the level of community and agency investment and commitment required by CMB-S4. In particular, the CMB-S4 science goals are out of the reach of any projected precursor experiment by a significant margin.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN74204 , Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (e-ISSN 0002-7537); 51; 7; 209
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