Upgrading the South Pole Telescope for Polarization Sensitivity
Last year, the South Pole Telescope (SPT, a 10-meter dish located at the geographic south pole) completed a 2500 sq-deg survey of the millimeter-wave sky. The SPT is optimized for galaxy cluster detection using the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) as a backlight, but it also produces precise measurements of the CMB power spectrum out to \ell ~ 10,000.
Now SPT has transitioned to measuring the polarization of the CMB. This past Austral summer, 2011-2012, we deployed a new polarization-sensitive receiver. The SPTpol receiver uses bolometers read out with transition edge sensor detectors. It has 588 pixels sensitive to frequencies of 150 GHz and 180 pixels sensitive to frequencies of 90 GHz. Each pixel contains a pair of crossed, polarization-sensitive bolometers. I will describe the properties of the SPTpol receiver, and show projections for anticipated science results.