Spider is a balloon-borne instrument designed to map the polarization of the millimeter-wave sky at large angular scales. Spider targets the B-mode signature of primordial gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), with a focus on mapping a large sky area with high fidelity at multiple frequencies. Spider ’s first long-duration balloon (LDB) flight in January 2015 deployed a total of 2400 antenna-coupled transition-edge sensors (TESs) at 90 GHz and 150 GHz. In this work we review the design and in-flight performance of the Spider instrument, with a particular focus on the measured performance of the detectors and instrument in a space-like loading and radiation environment. Spider ’s second flight in December 2018 will incorporate payload upgrades and new receivers to map the sky at 285 GHz, providing valuable information for cleaning polarized dust emission from CMB maps.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Cosmic microwave background
- Transition-edge sensors