Studying extragalactic background fluctuations with the Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRiment 2 (CIBER-2)
Fluctuations in the extragalactic background light trace emission from the history of galaxy formation, including the emission from the earliest sources from the epoch of reionization. A number of recent near-infrared measure- ments show excess spatial power at large angular scales inconsistent with models of z < 5 emission from galaxies. These measurements have been interpreted as arising from either redshifted stellar and quasar emission from the epoch of reionization, or the combined intra-halo light from stars thrown out of galaxies during merging activity at lower redshifts. Though astrophysically distinct, both interpretations arise from faint, low surface brightness source populations that are difficult to detect except by statistical approaches using careful observations with suitable instruments. The key to determining the source of these background anisotropies will be wide-field imaging measurements spanning multiple bands from the optical to the near-infrared. The Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRiment 2 (CIBER-2) will measure spatial anisotropies in the extra- galactic infrared background caused by cosmological structure using six broad spectral bands. The experiment uses three 2048 x 2048 Hawaii-2RG near-infrared arrays in three cameras coupled to a single 28.5 cm telescope housed in a reusable sounding rocket-borne payload. A small portion of each array will also be combined with a linear-variable filter to make absolute measurements of the spectrum of the extragalactic background with high spatial resolution for deep subtraction of Galactic starlight. The large field of view and multiple spectral bands make CIBER-2 unique in its sensitivity to fluctuations predicted by models of lower limits on the luminosity of the first stars and galaxies and in its ability to distinguish between primordial and foreground anisotropies. In this paper the scientific motivation for CIBER-2 and details of its first flight instrumentation will be discussed, including detailed designs of the mechanical, cryogenic, and electrical systems. Plans for the future will also be presented.