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Proceedings Paper

Polarization properties of a multi-moded feed horn for the Primordial Inflation Explorer mission
Author(s): Alan Kogut; Dale J. Fixsen; Robert S. Hill; Paul Mirel
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Paper Abstract

The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) is an Explorer-class mission to characterize the cosmic microwave background (CMB). PIXIE will map linear polarization on degree angular scales and larger to search for the gravity-wave signature of primordial inflation, and measure distortions from the blackbody spectrum to constrain energy-releasing processes in the early universe. PIXIE uses multi-moded optics to achieve sensitivity comparable to a kilo-pixel focal plane of diffraction-limited detectors, but using only 4 semiconductor bolometers illuminated by a non-imaging feed horn. PIXIE's frequency coverage extends from 30 GHz to 6 THz. Although the co- and cross-polar response of the feed horn and coupling optics is easily evaluated in the short-wavelength (geometric optics) limit, the response at longer wavelengths is more difficult to model analytically. We have built a coupled feed horn/reflector optical system based on the PIXIE design and measured the co- and cross-polar response at several wavelengths spanning the transition from the few-mode limit at long wavelengths to the geometric optics limit at short wavelengths. We compare the measured co- and cross-polar beam patterns to model predictions and discuss the implications for the PIXIE mission and similar missions using multi-moded optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 July 2014
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9153, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VII, 915318 (23 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056873
Show Author Affiliations
Alan Kogut, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Dale J. Fixsen, Univ. of Maryland (United States)
Robert S. Hill, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Paul Mirel, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9153:
Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VII
Wayne S. Holland; Jonas Zmuidzinas, Editor(s)

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