The Pole as a Unique Observing Site

Ground-based Cosmic Microwave Background measurements require observing sites where the atmosphere is minimally absorptive to millimeter wavelengths. Well-mixed, exceptionally low levels of residual water vapor make the South Pole the best location for sensitive measurements of CMB polarization. With observing fields continuously available at constant elevation, data-taking runs uninterrupted throughout the austral winter. During that time the site is inaccessible; dedicated winter-over scientists remain on station to operate the BICEP3 and BICEP Array telescopes, queue observations, and troubleshoot hardware or software issues as they arise.

Polar Operations

Given the unique challenges of operating in a remote polar environment, a successful campaign requires advance planning, redundancy, and an expeditionary mindset. After my first deployment, in 2018 I started overseeing the hiring and training of the winter-over engineers for the BICEP3 telescope. By 2019 the scope of my work had expanded to planning the field deployment of BICEP Array, involving 30+ personnel and 13 tons of hardware. Building on that expertise, in 2021 I was tapped by the CMB-S4 project to become the Level 3 Scientist tasked with overseeing the Integration & Commissioning of the Small Aperture Telescopes (SATs) to be built at the South Pole ca. 2030.


BICEP/Keck XIII: Improved Constraints on Primordial Gravitational Waves using Planck, WMAP, and BICEP/Keck Observations through the 2018 Observing Season (2021): Read here

Constraints on Primordial Gravitational Waves Using Planck, WMAP, and New BICEP2/Keck Observations through the 2015 Season (2018): Read here


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