Chris E. North

University of Oxford, Oxford, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (23)8.08 Total impact

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    03/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the processing of the 531 billion raw data samples from the High Frequency Instrument (hereafter HFI), which we performed to produce six temperature maps from the first 473 days of Planck-HFI survey data. These maps provide an accurate rendition of the sky emission at 100, 143, 217, 353, 545, and 857 GHz with an angular resolution ranging from 9.7 to 4.6 arcmin. The detector noise per (effective) beam solid angle is respectively, 10, 6, 12 and 39 microKelvin in HFI four lowest frequency channel (100--353 GHz) and 13 and 14 kJy/sr for the 545 and 857 GHz channels. Using the 143 GHz channel as a reference, these two high frequency channels are intercalibrated within 5% and the 353 GHz relative calibration is at the percent level. The 100 and 217 GHz channels, which together with the 143 GHz channel determine the high-multipole part of the CMB power spectrum (50 < l <2500), are intercalibrated at better than 0.2 %.
    03/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The Planck High Frequency Instrument (HFI) spectral response was determined through a series of ground based tests conducted with the HFI focal plane in a cryogenic environment prior to launch. The main goal of the spectral transmission tests was to measure the relative spectral response (including out-of-band signal rejection) of all HFI detectors. This was determined by measuring the output of a continuously scanned Fourier transform spectrometer coupled with all HFI detectors. As there is no on-board spectrometer within HFI, the ground-based spectral response experiments provide the definitive data set for the relative spectral calibration of the HFI. The spectral response of the HFI is used in Planck data analysis and component separation, this includes extraction of CO emission observed within Planck bands, dust emission, Sunyaev-Zeldovich sources, and intensity to polarization leakage. The HFI spectral response data have also been used to provide unit conversion and colour correction analysis tools. Verifications of the HFI spectral response data are provided through comparisons with photometric HFI flight data. This validation includes use of HFI zodiacal emission observations to demonstrate out-of-band spectral signal rejection better than 10^8. The accuracy of the HFI relative spectral response data is verified through comparison with complementary flight-data based unit conversion coefficients and colour correction coefficients. These coefficients include those based upon HFI observations of CO, dust, and Sunyaev-Zeldovich emission. General agreement is observed between the ground-based spectral characterization of HFI and corresponding in-flight observations, within the quoted uncertainty of each; explanations are provided for any discrepancies.
    03/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The ESA's Planck satellite, dedicated to studying the early Universe and its subsequent evolution, was launched 14 May 2009 and has been scanning the microwave and submillimetre sky continuously since 12 August 2009. This paper gives an overview of the mission and its performance, the processing, analysis, and characteristics of the data, the scientific results, and the science data products and papers in the release. The science products include maps of the CMB and diffuse extragalactic foregrounds, a catalogue of compact Galactic and extragalactic sources, and a list of sources detected through the SZ effect. The likelihood code used to assess cosmological models against the Planck data and a lensing likelihood are described. Scientific results include robust support for the standard six-parameter LCDM model of cosmology and improved measurements of its parameters, including a highly significant deviation from scale invariance of the primordial power spectrum. The Planck values for these parameters and others derived from them are significantly different from those previously determined. Several large-scale anomalies in the temperature distribution of the CMB, first detected by WMAP, are confirmed with higher confidence. Planck sets new limits on the number and mass of neutrinos, and has measured gravitational lensing of CMB anisotropies at greater than 25 sigma. Planck finds no evidence for non-Gaussianity in the CMB. Planck's results agree well with results from the measurements of baryon acoustic oscillations. Planck finds a lower Hubble constant than found in some more local measures. Some tension is also present between the amplitude of matter fluctuations derived from CMB data and that derived from SZ data. The Planck and WMAP power spectra are offset from each other by an average level of about 2% around the first acoustic peak.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics (Submitted). 03/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the possibility of using a flat-fold beam steering mirror for a cosmic microwave background B-mode experiment. An aluminium flat-fold mirror is found to add ∼0.075% polarization, which varies in a scan synchronous way. Time-domain simulations of a realistic scanning pattern are performed, and the effect on the power-spectrum illustrated, and a possible method of correction applied.
    The Review of scientific instruments 06/2011; 82(6):064502. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the possibility of using a flat-fold beam steering mirror for a CMB B-mode experiment. An aluminium flat-fold mirror is found to add $\sim$0.075% polarization, which varies in a scan synchronous way. Time-domain simulations of a realistic scanning pattern are performed, and the effect on the power-spectrum illustrated and a possible method of correction applied.
    05/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the processing of the 336 billion raw data samples from the High Frequency Instrument (HFI) which we performed to produce six temperature maps from the first 295 days of Planck-HFI survey data. These maps provide an accurate rendition of the sky emission at 100, 143, 217, 353, 545 and 857 GHz with an angular resolution ranging from 9.9 to 4.4^2. The white noise level is around 1.5 {\mu}K degree or less in the 3 main CMB channels (100--217GHz). The photometric accuracy is better than 2% at frequencies between 100 and 353 GHz and around 7% at the two highest frequencies. The maps created by the HFI Data Processing Centre reach our goals in terms of sensitivity, resolution, and photometric accuracy. They are already sufficiently accurate and well-characterised to allow scientific analyses which are presented in an accompanying series of early papers. At this stage, HFI data appears to be of high quality and we expect that with further refinements of the data processing we should be able to achieve, or exceed, the science goals of the Planck project.
    01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: The Planck High Frequency Instrument (HFI) is designed to measure the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background and galactic foregrounds in six wide bands centered at 100, 143, 217, 353, 545 and 857 GHz at an angular resolution of 10' (100 GHz), 7' (143 GHz), and 5' (217 GHz and higher). HFI has been operating flawlessly since launch on 14 May 2009. The bolometers cooled to 100 mK as planned. The settings of the readout electronics, such as the bolometer bias current, that optimize HFI's noise performance on orbit are nearly the same as the ones chosen during ground testing. Observations of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn verified both the optical system and the time response of the detection chains. The optical beams are close to predictions from physical optics modeling. The time response of the detection chains is close to pre-launch measurements. The detectors suffer from an unexpected high flux of cosmic rays related to low solar activity. Due to the redundancy of Planck's observations strategy, the removal of a few percent of data contaminated by glitches does not affect significantly the sensitivity. The cosmic rays heat up significantly the bolometer plate and the modulation on periods of days to months of the heat load creates a common drift of all bolometer signals which do not affect the scientific capabilities. Only the high energy cosmic rays showers induce inhomogeneous heating which is a probable source of low frequency noise.
    01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss the Clover cryostats, which are dry cryostats containing three stages of cooling; a pulse tube cooler, a sorption fridge and a continuous miniature dilution refrigerator. We describe the thermal architecture of the system and present thermal data for the various stages including its performance when tilted.
    Proc SPIE 07/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a 16-element, 97GHz, low-noise Transition Edge Sensor (TES) module that can be packed easily into large-format polarimetric imaging arrays. The technology was developed originally for the low-frequency instrument of the CLOVER experiment, which was aimed at searching for the signature of primordial gravitational waves in the polarisation state of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Each module contains 16 slotline and microstrip-coupled TES bolometers, allowing eight polarimetric pixels with external waveguide OMTs, along with time-domain multiplexed SQUID readout. Here we describe the design of the modules, and explain how they were realised in practice, detailing some of the technology developed along the way. Performance was measured by following two parallel paths: (i) detailed characterisation of individual detectors using an exceedingly well understood, fully modelled, analogue SQUID readout system, and (ii) simultaneous measurements of the entire module using CLOVER's multichannel readout electronics. We describe the results of measurements on one of the modules, with an emphasis on uniformity of performance, and we assess the effect of non-uniformity on the operation of a complete array. Although the technology was developed in the context of CLOVER, the work has consequences for many instruments including future space telescopes such as BPol.
    01/2010; -1:23-25.
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the impact of both slow and fast polarization modulation strategies on the science return of upcoming ground-based experiments aimed at measuring the B-mode polarization of the CMB. Using simulations of the Clover experiment, we compare the ability of modulated and un-modulated observations to recover the signature of gravitational waves in the polarized CMB sky in the presence of a number of anticipated systematic effects. The general expectations that fast modulation is helpful in mitigating low-frequency detector noise, and that the additional redundancy in the projection of the instrument's polarization sensitivity directions onto the sky when modulating reduces the impact of instrumental polarization, are borne out by our simulations. Neither low-frequency polarized atmospheric fluctuations nor systematic errors in the polarization sensitivity directions are mitigated by modulation. Additionally, we find no significant reduction in the effect of pointing errors by modulation. For a Clover-like experiment, pointing jitter should be negligible but any systematic mis-calibration of the polarization coordinate reference system results in significant E-B mixing on all angular scales and will require careful control. We also stress the importance of combining data from multiple detectors in order to remove the effects of common-mode systematics (such as 1/f atmospheric noise) on the measured polarization signal. Finally we compare the performance of our simulated experiment with the predicted performance from a Fisher analysis. We find good agreement between the Fisher predictions and the simulations except for the very largest scales where the power spectrum estimator we have used introduces additional variance to the B-mode signal recovered from our simulations. Comment: Replaced with version accepted by MNRAS. Analysis of half-wave plate systematic (differential transmittance) added
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2008; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Finlines are planar structures which allow broadband and low loss transition from waveguide to planar circuits. Their planar structure and large substrate makes them ideal for integration with other planar circuits and components, allowing the development of an on chip polarimeter. We have developed a method of extending the employment of finlines to thick substrates with high dielectric constants by drilling or etching small holes into the substrate, lowering the effective dielectric constant. We present the results of scale model measurements at 15GHz and cryogenic measurements at 90GHz which illustrate the excellent performance of finline transitions with porous substrates and the suitability of this technique for extending the bandwidth of finline transitions.
    Proc SPIE 08/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: We have fabricated TES bolometers with finline transitions for the ClOVER project. We have measured the optical response of ClOVER's first prototype 97-GHz detectors and find that they have a detection efficiency close to 100%. We have also investigated the effects of misalignment of the finline in the waveguide and of thinning the substrate. The prototype detectors have dark NEPs as low as 1.5 x 10-17W/&surd;Hz and satisfy the requirement of photon-noise limited operation on ClOVER. We describe the optical tests of ClOVER's prototype 97-GHz detectors and discuss their implications for the design of the science-grade detectors.
    Proc SPIE 08/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: ClOVER is a multi-frequency experiment optimised to measure the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) polarization, in particular the B-mode component. ClOVER comprises two instruments observing respectively at 97 GHz and 150/225 GHz. The focal plane of both instruments consists of an array of corrugated feed-horns coupled to TES detectors cooled at 100 mK. The primary science goal of ClOVER is to be sensitive to gravitational waves down to r ~ 0.03 (at 3σ)in two years of operations.
    Proc SPIE 07/2008; 7020:35.
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the objectives, design and predicted performance of Clover, which is a ground-based experiment to measure the faint ``B-mode'' polarisation pattern in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). To achieve this goal, clover will make polarimetric observations of approximately 1000 deg^2 of the sky in spectral bands centred on 97, 150 and 225 GHz. The observations will be made with a two-mirror compact range antenna fed by profiled corrugated horns. The telescope beam sizes for each band are 7.5, 5.5 and 5.5 arcmin, respectively. The polarisation of the sky will be measured with a rotating half-wave plate and stationary analyser, which will be an orthomode transducer. The sky coverage combined with the angular resolution will allow us to measure the angular power spectra between 20 < l < 1000. Each frequency band will employ 192 single polarisation, photon noise limited TES bolometers cooled to 100 mK. The background-limited sensitivity of these detector arrays will allow us to constrain the tensor-to-scalar ratio to 0.026 at 3sigma, assuming any polarised foreground signals can be subtracted with minimal degradation to the 150 GHz sensitivity. Systematic errors will be mitigated by modulating the polarisation of the sky signals with the rotating half-wave plate, fast azimuth scans and periodic telescope rotations about its boresight. The three spectral bands will be divided into two separate but nearly identical instruments - one for 97 GHz and another for 150 and 225 GHz. The two instruments will be sited on identical three-axis mounts in the Atacama Desert in Chile near Pampa la Bola. Observations are expected to begin in late 2009.
    06/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: C ℓ over aims to detect the signature of gravitational waves from inflation by measuring the B-mode polarization of the cosmic microwave background. We have produced microstrip-coupled TES detectors for C ℓ over. The dark NEP of these detectors is dominated by the fundamental phonon-noise limit and we have measured high optical detection efficiencies in these devices with two completely different RF architectures: a finline transition and a four-probe OMT. C ℓ over consists of two telescopes: one operating at 97 GHz, and one with a combined 150/220-GHz focal plane. The 220-and 150-GHz detectors use waveguide probes while the 97-GHz detectors use finline transitions to couple waveguide modes into the microstrip. Each detector is fabricated as a single chip to ensure a 100% operational focal plane. The detectors are mounted in eight-pixel modules and the focal planes are populated using 12 detector modules per detection frequency. Each detector module contains a time-division SQUID multiplexer to read out the detectors. Further amplification of the multiplexed signals is provided by SQUID series arrays. We describe the design of the C ℓ over detectors and present measurements of the prototype detectors' performance showing that they satisfy the requirement of photon-noise limited operation on C ℓ over.
    04/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: A novel design of a waveguide to microstrip or coplanar waveguide transition using a unilateral finline taper is presented. The transition from the unilateral finline mode to the TEM microstrip mode is done directly, avoiding the antipodal finline tapers that have commonly been employed. This results in significant simplification of the design and fabrication, and shortening of the chip length, thereby reducing insertion loss. Also presented are designs at 90 GHz that can be employed in superconducting tunnel junction mixers or transition edge sensor bolometers, and scale-model measurements at 15 GHz.
    Electronics Letters 02/2008; · 1.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CLOVER aims to detect the signature of gravitational waves from inflation by measuring the B-mode polarization of the cosmic microwave background. CLOVER consists of two polarimeters. One operates at 97 GHz, using finline-coupled transition edge sensors (TES). The other has a combined 150/220-GHz focal plane populated by radial-probe coupled TES detectors. The 97-GHz instrument will have 100 feedhorns and 200 detectors while the combined 150 and 220-GHz instrument will have a total of 200 horns. To achieve the target NEP of 1.5 x 10-<sup>17</sup> W Hz<sup>-1</sup> the 97-GHz detectors will have a transition temperature of 190 mK and will operate with a base temperature of ~ 100 mK. CLOVER's detectors are fabricated on 225-micron silicon substrates. In the 97-GHz instrument a finline transition feeds a microstrip which is terminated by a matched resistor on the silicon nitride island that carries the TES. Each detector is fabricated as a single chip to ensure a 100% operational focal plane. The detectors are mounted in linear modules made of copper which form split-block waveguides. Each detector module contains a time-division SQUID multiplexer to read out the detectors. The multiplexed signals are further amplified by SQUID series arrays. The first prototype detectors for CLOVER have a transition temperature of 350 mK and were fabricated to validate the detector design and the polarimeter technology. We have characterised these detectors in a dedicated test facility. The CLOVER testbed contains cryogenics similar to those in the final instrument: a pulse-tube cooler, He-7 sorption fridge, and a mini dilution fridge so that the detectors are tested in a realistic environment. The test bed has a cryogenic black- body source with band-defining filters for optical testing. As well as the multi-channel electronics that will be used on the final instrument the test bed has an analogue SQUID readout which allows us to characterise the readout fully. We discuss the result- s of the detector tests and the design changes needed to achieve the required sensitivity.
    Infrared and Millimeter Waves, 2007 and the 2007 15th International Conference on Terahertz Electronics. IRMMW-THz. Joint 32nd International Conference on; 10/2007
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the objectives, design and predicted performance of Clover, a fully-funded, UK-led experiment to measure the B-mode polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Three individual telescopes will operate at 97, 150 and 225 GHz, each populated by up to 256 horns. The detectors, TES bolometers, are limited by unavoidable photon noise, and coupled to an optical design which gives very low systematic errors, particularly in cross-polarisation. The telescopes will sit on three-axis mounts on a site in the Atacama Desert. The angular resolution of around 8´ and sky coverage of around 1000 deg 2 provide multipole coverage of 20< ℓ
    01/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: Several technologies are now being considered for modulating the polarization in various B-mode instruments, including rotating quasioptical half-wave plates in front of the focal plane array, rotating waveguide half-wave plates and Faraday rotators. It is not at all clear that any of these techniques is feasible without heavy penalty in cost or performance. A potentially much more efficient method is to use a pseudo-correlation polarimeter in conjunction with a planar circuit phase switch. We investigate three different devices for use as mm-wave switches, SIS tunnel junctions, capacitively coupled superconducting nanostrips and RF MEMS. The SIS tunnel junction switches operate by switching between two different bias voltages, while the nanostrip switch operates by changing the impedance of a resonant circuit by driving the nanostrip from the superconducting to normal state. In each case the RF signal sees two substantially different complex impedance states, hence could be switched from one transmission line branch to another. In MEMS this is achieved by mechanical movement of one plate of a parallel plate capacitor system. Although RF MEMS have been reported at high microwave and low mm-wave frequencies, in this work we have investigated cryogenic MEMS for operation at high mm-wave frequencies (225 GHz) using superconducting transmission lines. We present and compare designs and simulations of the performance of phase switches based on all three switching technologies, as well as preliminary experimental results for each of the switches. Finally we also present designs of phase shift circuits that translates the on/off switching into phase modulation.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
    06/2006;