Precision CMB measurements from long duration stratospheric balloons: Towards B-modes and inflation

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


Observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) have played a leading role in establishing an understanding of the structure and evolution of the Universe on the largest scales. This achievement has been enabled by a series of extremely successful experiments, coupled with the simplicity of the relationship between the cosmological theory and data. Antarctic experiments, including both balloon-borne telescopes and instruments at the South Pole, have played a key role in realizing the scientific potential of the CMB, from the characterization of the temperature anisotropies to the detection and study of the polarized component. Current and planned Antarctic long duration balloon experiments will extend this heritage of discovery to test theories of cosmic genesis through sensitive polarized surveys of the millimeter-wavelength sky. In this paper we will review the pivotal role that Antarctic balloon borne experiments have played in transforming our understanding of the Universe, and describe the scientific goals and technical approach of current and future missions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstrophysics from Antarctica
EditorsMichael G. Burton, Xiangqun Cui, Nicholas F. H. Tothill
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Ballooning
  • Cosmic Microwave Background
  • Cosmology
  • Cryogenic Detectors
  • Polarimetry


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