Simons Observatory

The Simons Observatory (SO) will be built at an elevation of 5,200 meters in the Atacama Desert in Chile. SO combines existing efforts (namely the POLARBEAR (PB) and Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) collaborations) to build a groundbreaking set of small and large-aperture telescopes to observe the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). SO will explore the history and evolution of our universe and push our existing technologies towards CMB-S4. The project was made possible by awards from Simons Foundation and Heising-Simons Foundation, and involves over 30 institutions across the globe working together to set the stage for the next generation of CMB experiments.

My work for SO mainly involves detector testing and cryogenics design. I motivated our magnetic shielding requirements by measuring the magnetic sensitivity of existing transition edge sensor (TES) bolometers and superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) (E.M. Vavagiakis, S.W. Henderson, K. Zheng et al., Magnetic Sensitivity of AlMn TESes and Shielding Considerations for Next-Generation CMB Surveys, JLTP 2018). I was also involved in the design of SO’s large cryogenic receiver, and am currently designing laboratory testbeds for future SO detector testing efforts. Finally, I’m working to promote education and public outreach for SO, taking part in social media and outreach initiatives for the collaboration.

Recent publications:

J. R. Stevens, N. F. Cothard, E. M. Vavagiakis, et al. 2019. “Characterization of Transition Edge Sensors for the Simons Observatory,” Journal of Low Temperature Physics (in review).

M. S. Rao, M. Silva-Feaver et al. (including E. M. Vavagiakis) 2019. “Simons Observatory Microwave SQUID Multiplexing Readout – Cryogenic RF Amplifier and Coax Chain Design,” Journal of Low Temperature Physics (in review).

H. McCarrick et al. (including E. M. Vavagiakis) 2019. “Development of the Simons Observatory microwave SQUID multiplexing readout modules,” Journal of Low Temperature Physics (in review).

The Simons Observatory Collaboration (including E. M. Vavagiakis) 2019. “The Simons Observatory: Astro2020 Decadal Project Whitepaper,” Astro2020 Decadal Project Whitepaper, arXiv:1907.08284.

E. M. Vavagiakis, S. W. Henderson, K. Zheng, et al. 2018. “Magnetic Sensitivity of AlMn TESes and Shielding Considerations for Next Generation CMB Surveys,” Journal of Low Temperature Physics, arXiv:1710.08456.

The Simons Observatory Collaboration (including E. M. Vavagiakis) 2018. “The Simons Observatory: Science goals and forecasts,” Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 1902, 056, arXiv:1808.07445.

J. L. Orlowski-Scherer, N. Zhu, Z. Xu et al. (including E. M. Vavagiakis) 2018. “Simons Observatory large aperture receiver simulation overview,” Proc. SPIE 10708, arXiv:1808.06648.

Learn more about SO:

Simons Observatory Public Webpage

Follow SO on twitter: @SimonsObs


The Simons Observatory Collaboration at our meeting this summer

Header Image Credit: Simons Observatory