5 Current and Future CMB Experiments

Since the discovery of a statistical anisotropy four years ago by the COBE satellite, there has been a great increase in the number of ground and balloon-based measurements of CMB anisotropy. Many groups around the world have been engaged in projects which aim to detect individual features in the CMB, and to establish their statistical properties. Table 1 lists all of the major experiments in the field and includes links to their home pages. The focus of these has tended to be towards smaller angular scales than measured by COBE, and this holds with it the exciting prospect of being able to detect structure in the primordial power spectrum.


Table 1: The main CMB experiments with links to their WWW home pages where available
Space based COBE [20]
Planck [69]
MAP [56]
Ground based Tenerife [93]
South Pole [87]
Saskatoon [79]
CAT [15]
ATCA [3]
Python [71]
OVRO [66]
SuZIE [90]
Jodrell Bank [43]
IAC Bartol [42]
White Dish [98]
Viper [95]
COBRA [21]
MAT [57]
DASI [23]
VSA [96]
CBI [16]
POLAR
Brown/Wisc polarization [19]
Balloon Borne FIRS [30]
ARGO [2]
MAX [58]
BEAST [8]
MSAM [60]
BAM [5]
ACE [1]
QMAP [72]
Boomerang [11]
MAXIMA [59]
Top Hat [94]

A summary of the properties and results of several experiments, covering the period through to 1996, is given in Lasenby & Hobson [50]. Since that time, i.e. in the last year, there have been significant developments with regard to a number of experiments, and we concentrate on these new results here. Table 2 shows in a convenient form the main parameters of several recent experiments.


Table 2: Some recent CMB anisotropy measurements.
Experiment Type Beamwidth/ ν (GHz)
Beamthrow (°)
DMR-COBE Satellite 7 31, 53, 90
Tenerife Ground 5/8 10, 15, 33
MIT/FIRS Balloon 3.8 180 + 3 higher
 ACME/HEMT Ground 1.5/2.1 30/40
MAX Balloon 0.5/1.0 110, 180, 270, 360
MSAM Balloon 0.5/0.6 180 + 3 higher
White dish Ground 0.18/0.47 90
Python Ground 0.75/2.75 90
Saskatoon Ground 1.5/2.45 26–36
ARGO Balloon 0.9/1.8 150 + 3 higher
CAT Ground 0.25 13–16
OVRO Ground 0.1–0.4 14.5 + 32
IAC-Bartol Ground 2 91–272

 5.1 The COBE satellite
 5.2 The Tenerife experiments
 5.3 Saskatoon
 5.4 The Owen’s Valley Radio Observatory
 5.5 Python
 5.6 The Cosmic Anisotropy Telescope
 5.7 Future experiments
 5.8 The Very Small Array
 5.9 Future satellite experiments

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