Characterizing Atacama B-mode Search Detectors with a Half-Wave Plate

S. M. Simon, J. W. Appel, L. E. Campusano, S. K. Choi, K. T. Crowley, T. Essinger-Hileman, P. Gallardo, S. P. Ho, A. Kusaka, F. Nati, G. A. Palma, L. A. Page, S. Raghunathan, S. T. Staggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The Atacama B-Mode Search (ABS) instrument is a cryogenic (∼ 10 K) crossed-Dragone telescope located at an elevation of 5190 m in the Atacama Desert in Chile that observed for three seasons between February 2012 and October 2014. ABS observed the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at large angular scales(40 < ℓ< 500) to limit the B-mode polarization spectrum around the primordial B-mode peak from inflationary gravity waves at ℓ∼ 100. The ABS focal plane consists of 480 transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometers. They are coupled to orthogonal polarizations from a planar ortho-mode transducer and observe at 145 GHz. ABS employs an ambient-temperature, rapidly rotating half-wave plate (HWP) to mitigate systematic effects and move the signal band away from atmospheric 1 / f noise, allowing for the recovery of large angular scales. We discuss how the signal at the second harmonic of the HWP rotation frequency can be used for data selection and for monitoring the detector responsivities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-539
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Atacama B-mode Search
  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Half-wave plate
  • Polarization


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