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  1. We present near-field radio holography measurements of the Simons Observatory Large Aperture Telescope Receiver optics. These measurements demonstrate that radio holography of complex millimeter-wave optical systems comprising cryogenic lenses, filters, and feed horns can provide detailed characterization of wave propagation before deployment. We used the measured amplitude and phase, at 4 K, of the receiver near-field beam pattern to predict two key performance parameters: 1) the amount of scattered light that will spill past the telescope to 300 K and 2) the beam pattern expected from the receiver when fielded on the telescope. These cryogenic measurements informed the removal of a filter, which led to improved optical efficiency and reduced sidelobes at the exit of the receiver. Holography measurements of this system suggest that the spilled power past the telescope mirrors will be less than 1%, and the main beam with its near sidelobes are consistent with the nominal telescope design. This is the first time such parameters have been confirmed in the lab prior to deployment of a new receiver. This approach is broadly applicable to millimeter and submillimeter instruments.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Abstract We describe the measurement and treatment of the telescope beams for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope's fourth data release, DR4. Observations of Uranus are used to measure the central portion (<12 ' ) of the beams to roughly -40 dB of the peak. Such planet maps in intensity are used to construct azimuthally averaged beam profiles, which are fit with a physically motivated model before being transformed into Fourier space. We investigate and quantify a number of percent-level corrections to the beams, all of which are important for precision cosmology. Uranus maps in polarization are used to measure the temperature-to-polarization leakage in the main part of the beams, which is ≲ 1% (2.5%) at 150 GHz (98 GHz). The beams also have polarized sidelobes, which are measured with observations of Saturn and deprojected from the ACT time-ordered data. Notable changes relative to past ACT beam analyses include an improved subtraction of the atmospheric effects from Uranus calibration maps, incorporation of a scattering term in the beam profile model, and refinements to the beam model uncertainties and the main temperature-to-polarization leakage terms in the ACT power spectrum analysis.
  3. Near-field radio holography is a common method for measuring and aligning mirror surfaces for millimeter and sub-millimeter telescopes. In instruments with more than a single mirror, degeneracies arise in the holography measurement, requiring multiple measurements and new fitting methods. We present HoloSim-ML, a Python code for beam simulation and analysis of radio holography data from complex optical systems. This code uses machine learning to efficiently determine the position of hundreds of mirror adjusters on multiple mirrors with few micrometer accuracy. We apply this approach to the example of the Simons Observatory 6 m telescope.

  4. Controlling stray light at millimeter wavelengths requires special optical design and selection of absorptive materials that should be compatible with cryogenic operating environments. While a wide selection of absorptive materials exists, these typically exhibit high indices of refraction and reflect/scatter a significant fraction of light before absorption. For many lower index materials such as commercial microwave absorbers, their applications in cryogenic environments are challenging. In this paper, we present a new tool to control stray light: metamaterial microwave absorber tiles. These tiles comprise an outer metamaterial layer that approximates a lossy gradient index anti-reflection coating. They are fabricated via injection molding commercially available carbon-loaded polyurethane (25% by mass). The injection molding technology enables mass production at low cost. The design of these tiles is presented, along with thermal tests to 1 K. Room temperature optical measurements verify their control of reflectance to less than 1% up to65∘<#comment/>angles of incidence, and control of wide angle scattering below 0.01%. The dielectric properties of the bulk carbon-loaded material used in the tiles is also measured at different temperatures, confirming that the material maintains similar dielectric properties down to 3 K.

  5. We present geometrical and physical optics simulation results for the Simons Observatory Large Aperture Telescope. This work was developed as part of the general design process for the telescope, allowing us to evaluate the impact of various design choices on performance metrics and potential systematic effects. The primary goal of the simulations was to evaluate the final design of the reflectors and the cold optics that are now being built. We describe nonsequential ray tracing used to inform the design of the cold optics, including absorbers internal to each optics tube. We discuss ray tracing simulations of the telescope structure that allow us to determine geometries that minimize detector loading and mitigate spurious near-field effects that have not been resolved by the internal baffling. We also describe physical optics simulations, performed over a range of frequencies and field locations, that produce estimates of monochromatic far-field beam patterns, which in turn are used to gauge general optical performance. Finally, we describe simulations that shed light on beam sidelobes from panel gap diffraction.