The Polarbear instrument is a state of the art fusion of optics and silicon. Virtually every component was designed for the sole purpose of producing a high fidelity map of CMB polarization.The instrument would not be possible without some novel technologies, developed over many years. The technology in Polarbear spans many disciplines, from micro fabrication to optics, mechanics and electronics. Select a section to find out more.
DETECTORS : At the heart of the Polarbear lies the detector array. Polarbear can achieve such high sensitivity because it features a large imaging device, not unlike the CCD array found in digital cameras.
READOUT : The readout system is another enabling technology, developed over many years specifically for CMB experiments. The polarbear readout allows the simultaneous recording of data from all pixels through a minimum number of wires. The system uses SQUIDS for their wide bandwidth and current sensitivity, paired with high speed digital signal processing.The reduction in wiring is accomplished by multiplexing many bolometer signals into a signal wire. The multiplexing comes in the form of placing the individual signals at different frequencies, much like different frequencies on the radio.
TELESCOPE : The Polarbear telescope was custom designed and fabricated by General Dynamics SATCOM. Polarbear is a microwave telescope, and looks most like a radio telescope or satellite dish. The Polarbear telescope is similar to other radio telescopes, but unlike previous telescopes, Polarbear was designed for a very large Field of View, to accommodate the large imaging camera.