PICO - The probe of inflation and cosmic origins

Brian M. Sutin, Marcelo Alvarez, Nicholas Battaglia, Jamie Bock, Matteo Bonato, Jullian Borrill, David T. Chuss, Joelle Cooperrider, Brendan Crill, Jacques Delabrouille, Mark Devlin, Thomas Essinger-Hileman, Laura Fissel, Raphael Flauger, Krzysztof Gorski, Daniel Green, Shaul Hanany, Johannes Hubmayr, Bradley Johnson, William C. JonesLloyd Knox, Alan Kogut, Charles Lawrence, Jeff McMahon, Tomotake Matsumura, Mattia Negrello, Roger O'Brient, Christopher Paine, Clement Pryke, Peter Shirron, Amy Trangsrud, Qi Wen, Karl Young, Gianfranco De Zotti

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

24 Scopus citations


The Probe of Inflation and Cosmic Origins (PICO) is a NASA-funded study of a Probe-class mission concept. The toplevel science objectives are to probe the physics of the Big Bang by measuring or constraining the energy scale of inflation, probe fundamental physics by measuring the number of light particles in the Universe and the sum of neutrino masses, to measure the reionization history of the Universe, and to understand the mechanisms driving the cosmic star formation history, and the physics of the galactic magnetic field. PICO would have multiple frequency bands between 21 and 799 GHz, and would survey the entire sky, producing maps of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation, of galactic dust, of synchrotron radiation, and of various populations of point sources. Several instrument configurations, optical systems, cooling architectures, and detector and readout technologies have been and continue to be considered in the development of the mission concept. We will present a snapshot of the baseline mission concept currently under development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsGiovanni G. Fazio, Howard A. MacEwen, Makenzie Lystrup
ISBN (Print)9781510619494
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 15 2018

Publication series

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


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • B-modes
  • Bolometers
  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Cryocooling
  • Polarization
  • Probe-class
  • Space mission


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