The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) mission

Alan J. Kogut, David T. Chuss, Jessie L. Dotson, Dale J. Fixsen, Mark Halpern, Gary F. Hinshaw, Stephan M. Meyer, S. Harvey Moseley, Michael D. Seiffert, David N. Spergel, Edward J. Wollack

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

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) is an Explorer-class mission to map the absolute intensity and linear polarization of the cosmic microwave background and diffuse astrophysical foregrounds over the full sky from frequencies 30 GHz to 6 THz (1 cm to 50 μm wavelength). PIXIE uses a polarizing Michelson interferometer with 2.7 K optics to measure the difference spectrum between two orthogonal linear polarizations from two co-aligned beams. Either input can view either the sky or a temperature-controlled absolute reference blackbody calibrator. The multimoded optics and high etendu provide sensitivity comparable to kilo-pixel focal plane arrays, but with greatly expanded frequency coverage while using only 4 detectors total. PIXIE builds on the highly successful COBE/FIRAS design by adding large-area polarization-sensitive detectors whose fully symmetric optics are maintained in thermal equilibrium with the CMB. The highly symmetric nulled design provides redundant rejection of major sources of systematic uncertainty. The principal science goal is the detection and characterization of linear polarization from an inflationary epoch in the early universe, with tensor-to-scalar ratio r ≪ 10-3. PIXIE will also return a rich data set constraining physical processes ranging from Big Bang cosmology, reionization, and large-scale structure to the local interstellar medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume7731
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Other

OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period6/27/107/2/10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Keywords

  • Bolometer
  • Cosmic microwave background
  • FTS
  • Polarization

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  • Cite this

    Kogut, A. J., Chuss, D. T., Dotson, J. L., Fixsen, D. J., Halpern, M., Hinshaw, G. F., Meyer, S. M., Moseley, S. H., Seiffert, M. D., Spergel, D. N., & Wollack, E. J. (2010). The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) mission. In Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave [77311S] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 7731). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857080