Advanced ACTPol Low-Frequency Array: Readout and Characterization of Prototype 27 and 39 GHz Transition Edge Sensors

B. J. Koopman, N. F. Cothard, S. K. Choi, K. T. Crowley, S. M. Duff, S. W. Henderson, S. P. Ho, J. Hubmayr, P. A. Gallardo, F. Nati, M. D. Niemack, S. M. Simon, S. T. Staggs, J. R. Stevens, E. M. Vavagiakis, E. J. Wollack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Advanced ACTPol (AdvACT) is a third-generation polarization upgrade to the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, designed to observe the cosmic microwave background (CMB). AdvACT expands on the 90 and 150 GHz transition edge sensor (TES) bolometer arrays of the ACT Polarimeter (ACTPol), adding both high-frequency (HF, 150/230 GHz) and low-frequency (LF, 27/39 GHz) multichroic arrays. The addition of the high- and low-frequency detectors allows for the characterization of synchrotron and spinning dust emission at the low frequencies and foreground emission from galactic dust and dusty star-forming galaxies at the high frequencies. The increased spectral coverage of AdvACT will enable a wide range of CMB science, such as improving constraints on dark energy, the sum of the neutrino masses, and the existence of primordial gravitational waves. The LF array will be the final AdvACT array, replacing one of the MF arrays for a single season. Prior to the fabrication of the final LF detector array, we designed and characterized prototype TES bolometers. Detector geometries in these prototypes are varied in order to inform and optimize the bolometer designs for the LF array, which requires significantly lower noise levels and saturation powers (as low as ∼1 pW) than the higher-frequency detectors. Here we present results from tests of the first LF prototype TES detectors for AdvACT, including measurements of the saturation power, critical temperature, thermal conductance, and time constants. We also describe the modifications to the time-division SQUID readout architecture compared to the MF and HF arrays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1103-1111
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Advanced ACTPol
  • Bolometer
  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Polarimetry
  • Synchrotron
  • Transition edge sensor


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