2019-20 Photos--BICEP Array

graphic of the BICEP Array

Above, a graphic image of the BICEP Array instrument. The new telescope mount assembly was being assembled and checked out since September 2018 in the high bay of the Physics and Nanotechnology Building at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis...as I've previously described here, along with links to several papers about the project.

By early September 2019 it was time to disassemble things for shipment to New Zealand (by ship) and thence to Pole by air. The above graphic is from the BICEP Array blog, from which many of the photos on this page were obtained...more credit information is at the bottom of this page.

the BICEP array mount with forebaffles
The mount is seen here fully assembled, including the round silvery forebaffles that will surround each of the BICEP Array receivers to block reflected signal...the insides are coated with a broadband absorbing foam.
shipping the components out
Soon it was time to disassemble everything and pack it up for shipment south.
components in the Christchurch cargo yard
And in November, here are some of the telescope mount components in the USAP cargo yard in Christchurch (RS).
telescope materials at Pole
And soon the material would start showing up at Pole (BJ).
crane ramp
Meanwhile at Pole, a crane ramp was being constructed to allow the crane to access the MAPO telescope foundation (BJ).
old arch components
If you look closely at the previous photo, you'll notice some old arch segments have been used as a retaining wall next to the telescope foundation...here's a "before" view (RS).
the BICEP3 control room
Meanwhile over in DSL, the existing BICEP3 instrument was NOT being decommissioned. Here are BICEP principal investigator John Kovac (left) along with Paula Crock operating the BICEP3 Telescope on 22 November. During the 2020 winter Paula is operating this instrument, while the BICEP Array is being operated by Nathan Precup.

This photo by Michael Lucibella is from the USAP Photo Library (link to original).

The first BICEP instrument was installed here during the 2005-06 summer, with prep work done during the 2005 winter. Here is that story.
removing the Keck Array mount
Back over to MAPO, one of the first tasks...removing the Keck Array mount (originally the DASI mount installed 20 years ago...it has housed 3 separate CMB experiments during that period). The five Keck Array receivers were removed...3 of them will be used in the new BICEP Array mount for the first year.
unpacking mount components
Next...unpacking some of the mount components (SB).
unpacking the receiver
More unpacking...the BA1 receiver. Clockwise from left, Lorenso Monselci, Yuka Nakato, Alessandro Schillaci, Cheng Zhang, and Sofia Fatigoni (MC).
group with the receiver
More of the BICEP team around the receiver...they represent Minnesota, Caltech, Harvard, and the University of British Columbia. Back row from left: Mike Crumrine, Dr. Lorenzo Moncelsi Middle row, from left: Erik Nichols, Dr. Marion Dierickx, Ahmed Soliman, Dr. Alessandro Schillaci, unknown. Front row: Paula Crock, Yuka Nakato, Cheng Zhang, Sofia Fatigoni), Kenny Lau, Dr. John Kovac), Nathan Precup.
the mount in place
Here's the mount in place, still lacking the elevation-stage frame and the insulating boot.
unpacking mount components

A bit later, the flexible insulating boot is installed...this allows folks to work inside the mount without ECW gear (SB).
the mount is enclosed
Mid-December...celebrating that the mount is fully enclosed (MC).
looking up inside the mount

~8 January, this looks up inside the enclosed mount. Plywood still is over the receiver openings. The rotating liquid helium lines are prominent (SPT).
some final crane work

~9 January, a bit more crane work. I hadn't seen any photos of that white snowmobile sled until now (SPT).
a look up inside the mount
Another look up inside the mount after some of the receivers have been installed and hooked up.
hero shot in front of the receivers
A hero shot of the team at the end of January.
another hero shot in front of the receivers
One good hero shot deserves another! By this time a preliminary first light had already been achieved, although further calibration will be required. The larger receiver to the right is the new BA1 BICEP Array receiver; the others are from the Keck Array (MC)

The otherwise uncredited photos are from the BICEP Array blog, which is by Mike Crumrine. Other photos of his are labeled MC. RS is Robert Schwarz; BJ is Bill Johnson, SB is Steve Bruce, and SPT indicates photos from the South Pole Telescope twitter feed.

construction photo index | aerial photo index