Previous Projects

We have been involved in astrophysics and early universe cosmology research for a long time and these are some of our past projects:

BEAST – Background Emission Anisotropy Scanning Telescope – An experiment to map the microwave sky. Flew twice. Balloon borne and ground based at White Mountain. 1994-2000.

WMPoL – The White Mountain Polarimeter (WMPol) is a dedicated ground-based microwave telescope and receiver system for observing polarization of the cosmic microwave background. WMPol is located at an altitude of 3880 m on a plateau in the White Mountains of Eastern California, at the Barcroft Facility of the University of California White Mountain Research Station. 2000-2005.

HACME – balloon borne mm wave CMB imaging experiment. Modified variant of ACME to allow for larger scale imaging with a rotating flat plate. 1995-1998

ACME – (Advanced Cosmic Microwave Explorer) – balloon borne and S Pole based experiment to measure the degree and sub degree scale fluctuations. Discovery of degree scale (sub horizon) fluctuations was made with this program both from the S. Pole (SP91) using HEMT’s and with its balloon borne variant using bolometers (MAX) in 1992.  1984-1996

MAX – (Millimeter Anisotropy Experiment) Bolometer on ACME with CfPA (Center for Particle Astrophysics). Balloon borne experiment to map degree and sub degree scale fluctuations. Discovery of structure in the CMB was made in 1992 with this instrument. 1990-1996

ACME-I – SIS junction 3 mm balloon borne mission launched in summer 1988. First commisioning of ACME payload.

SP 88-89 (South Pole – Ground based ACME  3 mm SIS junction and 15 and 23 GHz Flat Plate 7 degree anisotropy experiments. Nov 1988 – Feb 1989

White Mountain Flat Plate – 1990 White Mountain Barcroft vibrating plate 7 degree anisotropy mission at 15 and 23 GHz.

COBE – Cosmic Background Explorer – NASA satellite launched Nov 1989. UCSB involved primarily with DMR instrument.

ACME-MAX-I Balloon borne ACME with UCB 4 channel bolometer single pixel He-3 cooled bolometer detector. First of MAX series. Flight 1990

SP 90-91 South Pole ACME with Ka band channel HEMT detector and 3 mm SIS receiver operated interchangeably. Nov 1990 – Feb1991. First detection of CMB structure. Horizon scale.

ACME-MAX-II Balloon borne ACME with UCB 4 channel HE-3 single pixel bolometer. Much improved sensitivity. Detection of CMB structure. Horizon/ sub horizon scale.

SP 93-94 South Pole ACME with Ka and Q band multi channel HEMT detectors operated interchangeably. Confirmed horizon scale detection of ACME SP 90-91 results. Nov 1993- Feb 1994.

ACME-MAX-III Balloon borne ACME with UCB 4 channel ADR cooled single pixel bolometer. Higher sensitivity improved sensitivity. Additional detection of CMB structure at horizon/ sub horizon scale. 1994.

ACME-MAX-IV Balloon borne ACME with UCB 4 channel ADR cooled single pixel bolometer. Higher sensitivity improved sensitivity. Additional detection of CMB structure at horizon/ sub horizon scale. 1995.

BLAST – Balloon borne Absolute Spectrometer – balloon borne absolute spectrometer to measure absolute CMB flux near 100 GHz. Three balloon flights. 1986-1993

SISS – SIS Spectrometer to look for extreterrestrial isotope shifted O16-O18 oxygen in our galaxy at 119 GHz. The isotope shifted line is slightly off the telluric (Earth’s atmospheric) line and hence measureable. Balloon borne system using ACME optics and gondola. Three flights 1991-1996.

GRATIS – Hard X-Ray Coded aperture mask balloon borne telescope done in collaboration with LLNL and UCB. Chuck Hailey, Steve Kahn, Fiona Harrison, Mike Seiffert among others. Three flights. 1990-1995.

3 mm sky survey-TMSS – balloon borne large scale anisotropy mapping experiment that made near full sky made of the CMB at 3mm wavelength. Flew in both the northern hemisphere and southern hemispheres.  Five flight total. Was lost in the jungles of Brazil for 30 months and finally recovered in 1985. 1980-1986.

RAAP – Remote Access Astronomy Project – robotic telescope, image processing software and curricula for astrophysics outreach. 1989 – 1999.

U2 Anisotropy – Work done in Group A (“Alvarez” Group) at LBL. Started by Alvarez and Muller. Subsequently involved George Smoot, Tony Tyson, Terry Mast, Marc Gorenstein among others. 33 GHz anisotropy room temperature parametric amplifier based detector flown on U2 aircraft out of NASA Ames Moffett Field and Peru. See LBL website.

Be-10 Isotope Experiment – Work done in Group A at LBL with Andrew Buffington, Charles Orth and Terry Mast among others. Goal was to used the radioactive long lived isotrope of Berylium (Be-10) to determine mean Cosmic Ray confinement time in our galaxy. Very large balloon borne superconducting magnetic spectrometer. Payload destroyed after balloon burst at altitude and fouled parachute resulting in free fall from 130 Kft. Hit the ground at an estimated 150 MPH in North Dakota. Miraculously the spark chamber film canisters, which exploded on impact, were able to be read though exposed to sunlight for hours. 1976-1978.

Large Scale Polarimeter – Work done in Group A at LBL and in Peru. 33 GHz 7 degree beam FWHM polarimeter to look for linear polarization modes in the CMB and test non traditional topologies of the universe as well as more traditional quadrupole scattering. Done with George Smoot. 1977-1980.