Instrument design and characterization of the Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope
The Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera (MBAC) was commissioned in the fall of 2007 on the new 6-meter Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). The MBAC on the ACT will map the temperature anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) with arc-minute resolution. For this first observing season, the MBAC contained a diffraction-limited, 32 by 32 element, focal plane array of Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers for observations at 145 GHz. This array was coupled to the telescope with a series of cold, refractive, reimaging optics. To meet the performance specifications, the MBAC employs four stages of cooling using closed-cycle 3He/4He sorption fridge systems in combination with pulse tube coolers. In this paper we present the design of the instrument and discuss its performance during the first observing season. Finally, we report on the status of the MBAC for the 2008 observing season, when the instrument will be upgraded to a total of three separate 1024-element arrays at 145 GHz, 220 GHz and 280 GHz.