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  1. Zmuidzinas, Jonas ; Gao, Jian-Rong (Ed.)
    The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) is a telescope array observing the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at frequency bands centered near 40, 90, 150, and 220 GHz. CLASS measures the CMB polarization on the largest angular scales to constrain the inflationary tensor-to-scalar ratio and the optical depth due to reionization. To achieve the long time-scale stability necessary for this measurement from the ground, CLASS utilizes a front-end, variable-delay polarization modulator on each telescope. Here we report on the improvements in stability afforded by front-end modulation using data across all four CLASS frequencies. Across one month of modulated linear polarization data in 2021, CLASS achieved median knee frequencies of 9.1, 29.1, 20.4, and 36.4 mHz for the 40, 90, 150, and 220 GHz observing bands. The knee frequencies are approximately an order of magnitude lower than achieved via CLASS pair-differencing orthogonal detector pairs without modulation.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 31, 2023
  2. Zmuidzinas, Jonas ; Gao, Jian-Rong (Ed.)
    Polarization modulation is a powerful technique to increase the stability of measurements by enabling the distinction of a polarized signal from dominant slow system drifts and unpolarized foregrounds. Furthermore, when placed as close to the sky as possible, modulation can reduce systematic errors from instrument polarization. In this work, we introduce the design and preliminary drive system laboratory performance of a new 60 cm diameter reflective half-wave plate (RHWP) polarization modulator. The wave plate consists of a wire array situated in front of a flat mirror. Using 50 μm diameter wires with 175 μm spacing, the wave plate will be suitable for operation in the millimeter wavelength range with flatness of the wires and parallelism to the mirror held to a small fraction of a wavelength. The presented design targets the 77-108 GHz range. Modulation is performed by a rotation of the wave plate with a custom rotary drive utilizing an actively controlled servo motor.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 31, 2023
  3. 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
  4. Zmuidzinas, Jonas ; Gao, Jian-Rong (Ed.)
    The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) telescope array surveys 75% of the sky from the Atacama desert in Chile at frequency bands centered near 40, 90, 150, and 220 GHz. CLASS measures the largest-angular scale (θ ≳ 1 ° ) CMB polarization with the aim of constraining the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r, measuring the optical depth to reionization, τ , to near the cosmic variance limit, and more. The CLASS Q-band (40 GHz), W-band (90 GHz), and dichroic high frequency (150/220 GHz) telescopes have been observing since June 2016, May 2018, and September 2019, respectively. On-sky optical characterization of the 40 GHz instrument has been published. Here, we present preliminary on-sky measurements of the beams at 90, 150, and 220 GHz, and pointing stability of the 90 and 150/220 GHz telescopes. The average 90, 150, and 220 GHz beams measured from dedicated observations of Jupiter have full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 0.615±0.019° , 0.378±0.005° , and 0.266 ± 0.008° , respectively. Telescope pointing variations are within a few % of the beam FWHM.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 31, 2023
  5. Zmuidzinas, Jonas ; Gao, Jian-Rong (Ed.)
    The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) is a polarization-sensitive telescope array located at an altitude of 5,200 m in the Chilean Atacama Desert. CLASS is designed to measure "E-mode" (even parity) and "B-mode" (odd parity) polarization patterns in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) over large angular scales with the aim of improving our understanding of inflation, reionization, and dark matter. CLASS is currently observing with three telescopes covering four frequency bands: one at 40 GHz (Q); one at 90 GHz (W1); and one dichroic system at 150/220 GHz (G). In these proceedings, we discuss the updated design and in-lab characterization of new 90 GHz detectors. The new detectors include design changes to the transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometer architecture, which aim to improve stability and optical efficiency. We assembled and tested four new detector wafers, to replace four modules of the W1 focal plane. These detectors were installed into the W1 telescope, and will achieve first light in the austral winter of 2022. We present electrothermal parameters and bandpass measurements from in-lab dark and optical testing. From in-lab dark tests, we also measure a median NEP of 12.3 aW√ s across all four wafers about the CLASS signal band, whichmore »is below the expected photon NEP of 32 aW√ s from the field. We therefore expect the new detectors to be photon noise limited.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 31, 2023
  6. 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  7. Abstract Observing in six frequency bands from 27 to 280 GHz over a large sky area, the Simons Observatory (SO) is poised to address many questions in Galactic astrophysics in addition to its principal cosmological goals. In this work, we provide quantitative forecasts on astrophysical parameters of interest for a range of Galactic science cases. We find that SO can: constrain the frequency spectrum of polarized dust emission at a level of Δ β d ≲ 0.01 and thus test models of dust composition that predict that β d in polarization differs from that measured in total intensity; measure the correlation coefficient between polarized dust and synchrotron emission with a factor of two greater precision than current constraints; exclude the nonexistence of exo-Oort clouds at roughly 2.9 σ if the true fraction is similar to the detection rate of giant planets; map more than 850 molecular clouds with at least 50 independent polarization measurements at 1 pc resolution; detect or place upper limits on the polarization fractions of CO(2–1) emission and anomalous microwave emission at the 0.1% level in select regions; and measure the correlation coefficient between optical starlight polarization and microwave polarized dust emission in 1° patches for allmore »lines of sight with N H ≳ 2 × 10 20 cm −2 . The goals and forecasts outlined here provide a roadmap for other microwave polarization experiments to expand their scientific scope via Milky Way astrophysics. 37 37 A supplement describing author contributions to this paper can be found at https://simonsobservatory.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/SO_GS_Contributions.pdf .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  9. 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.