Constraining the Galactic foregrounds with multi-frequency Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) observations is an essential step towards ultimately reaching the sensitivity to measure primordial gravitational waves (PGWs), the sign of inflation after the Big-Bang that would be imprinted on the CMB. The BICEP Array is a set of multi-frequency cameras designed to constrain the energy scale of inflation through CMB B-mode searches while also controlling the polarized galactic foregrounds. The lowest frequency BICEP Array receiver (BA1) has been observing from the South Pole since 2020 and provides 30 GHz and 40 GHz data to characterize galactic synchrotron in our CMB maps. In this paper, we present the design of the BA1 detectors and the full optical characterization of the camera including the on-sky performance at the South Pole. The paper also introduces the design challenges during the first observing season including the effect of out-of-band photons on detectors performance. It also describes the tests done to diagnose that effect and the new upgrade to minimize these photons, as well as installing more dichroic detectors during the 2022 deployment season to improve the BA1 sensitivity. We finally report background noise measurements of the detectors with the goal of having photon-noise dominated detectors in both optical channels. BA1 achieves an improvement in mapping speed compared to the previous deployment season.
Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy XI
- Pub Date:
- August 2022
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- Proceedings of SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2022 (AS22)