Blog post: SPIDER’s Eyes

Our group has an official blog and web site, run out of Princeton:  We also have a Twitter presence (@SPIDERCMB) and blogs and photo collections by numerous other team members.  We even recently had a writeup in Scientific American; the writer interviewed a few SPIDER team members, and quoted me more than I expected.

I recently made my first posting on the official blog: a brief discussion of SPIDER’s eyes, the six telescopes built by our team at Caltech/JPL.

A SPIDER focal plane, showing the four detector tiles (picture by J. Gudmundson)

A SPIDER focal plane, showing the four detector tiles (picture by J. Gudmundson)

3 thoughts on “Blog post: SPIDER’s Eyes

    • It depends on how you count! There are 1200 polarimeter pixels total across the six telescopes, each of which has two superconducting sensors (one each for the two polarization axes), for a total of 2400 sensors. About 100 of these sensors are purposely disconnected from their antennas, however, and so do not actually observe the sky. These “dark” sensors are used to monitor changes in the thermal environment of the detectors and the readout electronics. So we have 2400 total sensors, but 2300 that observe the sky. The actual number of useful sensors is somewhat lower due to a smattering of bad channels, but those are the design values.


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