UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER) Halpern, Mark; Hinshaw, Gary


The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER) is a balloon-borne instrument to measure the gravitational-wave signature of primordial inflation through its distinctive imprint on the polarization of the cosmic microwave background. PIPER combines cold (1.5 K) optics, 5120 bolometric detectors, and rapid polarization modulation using VPM grids to achieve both high sensitivity and excellent control of systematic errors. A series of flights alternating between northern and southern hemisphere launch sites will produce maps in Stokes I, Q, U, and V parameters at frequencies 200, 270, 350, and 600 GHz (wavelengths 1500, 1100, 850, and 500 μm) covering 85% of the sky. The high sky coverage allows measurement of the primordial B-mode signal in the 'reionization bump" at multipole moments ℓ < 10 where the primordial signal may best be distinguished from the cosmological lensing foreground. We describe the PIPER instrument and discuss the current status and expected science returns from the mission. 2012 SPIE. Copyright 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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