The Atacama B-mode Search: CMB polarimetry with transition-edge-sensor bolometers

T. Essinger-Hileman, J. W. Appel, J. A. Beall, H. M. Cho, J. Fowler, M. Halpern, M. Hasselfield, K. D. Irwin, T. A. Marriage, M. D. Niemack, L. Page, L. P. Parker, S. Pufu, S. T. Staggs, O. Stryzak, C. Visnjic, K. W. Yoon, Y. Zhao

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

34 Scopus citations


The Atacama B-mode Search (ABS) experiment is a 145 GHz polarimeter designed to measure the B-mode polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at large angular scales. The ABS instrument will ship to the Atacama Desert of Chile fully tested and ready to observe in 2010. ABS will image large-angular-scale CMB polarization anisotropies onto a focal plane of 240 feedhorn-coupled, transition-edge sensor (TES) polarimeters, using a cryogenic crossed-Dragone design. The ABS detectors, which are fabricated at NIST, use orthomode transducers to couple orthogonal polarizations of incoming radiation onto separate TES bolometers. The incoming radiation is modulated by an ambienttemperature half-wave plate in front of the vacuum window at an aperture stop. Preliminary detector characterization indicates that the ABS detectors can achieve a sensitivity of 300 μKφ/s in the field. This paper describes the ABS optical design and detector readout scheme, including feedhorn design and performance, magnetic shielding, focal plane architecture, and cryogenic electronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLow Temperature Detectors LTD-13 - Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2009
Event13th International Workshop on Low Temperature Detectors, LTD-13 - Stanford, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 20 2009Jul 24 2009

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Other13th International Workshop on Low Temperature Detectors, LTD-13
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityStanford, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Bolometers
  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Cosmology
  • Polarimetry
  • Transition-edge sensors


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