Modeling and characterization of the SPIDER half-wave plate

Sean A. Bryan, Peter A.R. Ade, Mandana Amiri, Steve Benton, Richard Bihary, James J. Bock, J. Richard Bond, Joseph A. Bonetti, H. Cynthia Chiang, Carlo R. Contaldi, Brendan P. Crill, Daniel O'Dea, Olivier Dore, Marzieh Farhang, Jeffrey P. Filippini, Laura Fissel, Natalie Gandilo, Sunil Golwala, Jon E. Gudmundsson, Matthew HasselfieldMark Halpern, Kyle R. Helson, Gene Hilton, Warren Holmes, Viktor V. Hristov, Kent D. Irwin, William C. Jones, Chao Lin Kuo, Carrie J. MacTavish, Peter Mason, Tracy Morford, Thomas E. Montroy, C. Barth Netterfield, Alexandra S. Rahlin, Carl D. Reintsema, Daniel Riley, John E. Ruhl, Marcus C. Runyan, Matthew A. Schenker, Jamil Shariff, Juan Diego Soler, Amy Transrud, Rebecca Tucker, Carole Tucker, Anthony Turner

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

26 Scopus citations


Spider is a balloon-borne array of six telescopes that will observe the Cosmic Microwave Background. The 2624 antenna-coupled bolometers in the instrument will make a polarization map of the CMB with approximately one-half degree resolution at 145 GHz. Polarization modulation is achieved via a cryogenic sapphire half-wave plate (HWP) skyward of the primary optic. We have measured millimeter-wave transmission spectra of the sapphire at room and cryogenic temperatures. The spectra are consistent with our physical optics model, and the data gives excellent measurements of the indices of A-cut sapphire. We have also taken preliminary spectra of the integrated HWP, optical system, and detectors in the prototype Spider receiver. We calculate the variation in response of the HWP between observing the CMB and foreground spectra, and estimate that it should not limit the Spider constraints on inflation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy V
StatePublished - 2010
EventMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy V - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 29 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

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


OtherMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Astronomical polarimetry
  • Cosmic Microwave Background
  • Cosmology
  • Millimeter-wave optics


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