The Ku-Band Polarization Identifier, a new instrument to probe polarized astrophysical radiation at 12--18 GHz

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Joshua Gundersen, Committee Chair


Precision measurements of CMB polarization provide important information about the structure and formation of the Universe, but they are limited by foregrounds such as polarized synchrotron emission. The need for a low frequency survey to characterize these contaminants of CMB has been addressed by the Ku-Band Polarization Identifier, or KUPID, a correlation polarimeter operating at 12--18 GHz. Assembled and tested at the University of Miami, the instrument has been deployed and integrated onto a 7-meter millimeter wave antenna at Lucent Technology site (formerly Bell Labs) in Crawford Hill, New Jersey. KUPID extends the work of PIQUE (Princeton IQU Experiment) and CAPMAP (The Cosmic Anisotropy Polarization Mapper), by making very sensitive polarization measurements at lower frequencies, where polarized galactic synchrotron emission is expected to dominate. The survey focused on a small region centered on the North Celestial Pole. A variety of other observations were performed to calibrate the system and to characterize a previously unidentified component of microwave galactic emission hypothesized to arise from rapidly spinning dust grains. This thesis describes the design, construction and characterization of the KUPID system and provides an overview of the observations.


Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics

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