A cryogenic rotation stage with a large clear aperture for the half-wave plates in the Spider instrument

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Title: A cryogenic rotation stage with a large clear aperture for the half-wave plates in the Spider instrument
Authors: Bryan, S
Ade, P
Amiri, M
Benton, S
Bihary, R
Bock, J
Bond, JR
Chiang, HC
Contaldi, C
Crill, B
Dore, O
Elder, B
Filippini, J
Fraisse, A
Gambrel, A
Gandilo, N
Gudmundsson, J
Hasselfield, M
Halpern, M
Hilton, G
Holmes, W
Hristov, V
Irwin, K
Jones, W
Kermish, Z
Lawrie, C
MacTavish, C
Mason, P
Megerian, K
Moncelsi, L
Montroy, T
Morford, T
Nagy, J
Netterfield, CB
Padilla, I
Rahlin, AS
Reintsema, C
Riley, DC
Ruhl, J
Runyan, M
Saliwanchik, B
Shariff, J
Soler, J
Trangsrud, A
Tucker, C
Tucker, R
Turner, A
Wen, S
Wiebe, D
Young, E
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We describe the cryogenic half-wave plate rotation mechanisms built for and used in Spider, a polarization-sensitive balloon-borne telescope array that observed the Cosmic Microwave Background at 95 GHz and 150 GHz during a stratospheric balloon flight from Antarctica in January 2015. The mechanisms operate at liquid helium temperature in flight. A three-point contact design keeps the mechanical bearings relatively small but allows for a large (305 mm) diameter clear aperture. A worm gear driven by a cryogenic stepper motor allows for precise positioning and prevents undesired rotation when the motors are depowered. A custom-built optical encoder system monitors the bearing angle to an absolute accuracy of +/- 0.1 degrees. The system performed well in Spider during its successful 16 day flight.
Issue Date: 8-Jan-2016
Date of Acceptance: 18-Dec-2015
ISSN: 1089-7623
Publisher: American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Start Page: 014501
End Page: 014501
Journal / Book Title: Review of Scientific Instruments
Volume: 87
Copyright Statement: © 2016 AIP Publishing LLC
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/L00044X/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Instruments & Instrumentation
Physics, Applied
09 Engineering
02 Physical Sciences
03 Chemical Sciences
Applied Physics
Notes: 11 pages, 7 figures, Published in Review of Scientific Instruments. v2 includes reviewer changes and longer literature review
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Article Number: 014501
Appears in Collections:Theoretical Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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