XIIIth School of Cosmology
November 12 - 18, 2017IESC, Cargèse
The CMB from A to Z
promises and challenges of the CMB as a cosmological probe

 Instrumental design global trade-offs & CMB detectors

Michal PIAT
APC Université Paris Diderot


  1. Instrumental design global trade-offs:
    1. CMB photons
    2. CMB instruments
    3. Detectors system trade-offs
    4. Optics trade-offs
    5. Cryogenics trade-offs
    6. Orbit trade-offs
  2. CMB detectors
    1. TESs
    2. KIDs


The design of a CMB instrument, either ground-based, balloon-born or space-born, is a complex process that needs numerous instrument global trade-offs. In the first lecture, I will give a flavor of some major trade-offs in terms of detectors, optics, cryogenics and orbits. In the second lecture, I will describe the CMB detectors which have currently the highest Technology Readiness Level: Transition Edge Sensors (TESs) and Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KIDs).


  • Articles:
    • M. Bowden et al.,  “Scientific optimization of a ground-based CMB polarization experiment,” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 349, p. 321, Mar. 2004.
    • Planck-HFI Collaboration, "Planck pre-launch status: The HFI instrument, from specification to actual performance”, A&A 520, 9 (2010).
    • Planck Collaboration, "Planck Early Results (II): The thermal performance of Planck”, A&A 536 (2011).
      S. Hanany and D. P. Marrone, “Comparison of Designs of Off-Axis Gregorian Telescopes for Millimeter-Wave Large Focal-Plane Arrays,” Applied Optics, vol. 69, no. 2, p. 342, May 2002.
    • M. D. Niemack, “Designs for a large-aperture telescope to map the CMB 10X faster,” arXiv.org, vol. astro-ph.IM. p. arXiv:1511.04506, 14-Nov-2015.
    • A. Monfardini et al., “Lumped Element Kinetic Inductance Detectors for space applications,” arXiv.org, vol. astro-ph.IM. SPIE, pp. arXiv:1606.00719–99140N–8, 02-Jun-2016.
    • J. J. A. Baselmans et al., “A kilo-pixel imaging system for future space based far-infrared observatories using microwave kinetic inductance detectors,” arXiv.org, vol. astro-ph.IM. 07-Sep-2016.
    • K. D. Irwin and G. C. Hilton, “Transition Edge Sensors”, in Cryogenic Particle Detection, pp. 63–149.
      A. Catalano, et al., “Impact of particles on the Planck HFI detectors: Ground-based measurements and physical interpretation,” arXiv.org, vol. astro-ph.IM. 26-Mar-2014.
    • BICEP Collaboration, “BICEP2 II: Experiment and Three-Year Data Set,” arXiv.org, vol. astro-ph.CO. 18-Mar-2014.
      De Bernardis et al., "Exploring Cosmic Origins with CORE: The Instrument”, arXiv.org, vol. astro-ph.CO. 2017.