The optical design of the Litebird middle and high frequency telescope

L. Lamagna*, J. E. Gudmundsson, H. Imada, P. Hargrave, C. Franceschet, M. De Petris, J. Austermann, S. Bounissou, F. Columbro, P. De Bernardis, S. Henrot-Versillé, J. Hubmayr, G. Jaehnig, R. Keskitalo, B. Maffei, S. Masi, T. Matsumura, L. Montier, B. Mot, F. NovielloC. O'sullivan, A. Paiella, G. Pisano, S. Realini, A. Ritacco, G. Savini, A. Suzuki, N. Trappe, B. Winter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


LiteBIRD is a JAXA strategic L-class mission devoted to the measurement of polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background, searching for the signature of primordial gravitational waves in the B-modes pattern of the polarization. The onboard instrumentation includes a Middle and High Frequency Telescope (MHFT), based on a pair of cryogenically cooled refractive telescopes covering, respectively, the 89-224 GHz and the 166-448 GHz bands. Given the high target sensitivity and the careful systematics control needed to achieve the scientific goals of the mission, optical modeling and characterization are performed with the aim to capture most of the physical effects potentially affecting the real performance of the two refractors. We describe the main features of the MHFT, its design drivers and the major challenges in system optimization and characterization. We provide the current status of the development of the optical system and we describe the current plan of activities related to optical performance simulation and validation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsMakenzie Lystrup, Marshall D. Perrin
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636736
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 14 Dec 202022 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported in Japan by ISAS/JAXA for Pre-Phase A2 studies, by the acceleration program of JAXA research and development directorate, by the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) of MEXT, by the JSPS Core-to-Core Program of A. Advanced Research Networks, and by JSPS KAK-ENHI Grant Numbers JP15H05891, JP17H01115, and JP17H01125. The Italian LiteBIRD phase A contribution is supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI Grants No. 2020-9-HH.0 and 2016-24-H.1-2018), the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The French LiteBIRD phase A contribution is supported by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiale (CNES), by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and by the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA). The Canadian contribution is supported by the Canadian Space Agency. The US contribution is supported by NASA grant No. 80NSSC18K0132. Norwegian participation in LiteBIRD is supported by the Research Council of Norway (Grant No. 263011). The Spanish LiteBIRD phase A contribution is supported by the Spanish Agencia Es-tatal de Investigación (AEI), project refs. PID2019-110610RB-C21 and AYA2017-84185-P. Funds that support contributions from Sweden come from the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA/Rymdstyrelsen) and the Swedish Research Council (Reg. no. 2019-03959). The German participation in LiteBIRD is supported in part by the Excellence Cluster ORIGINS, which is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy (Grant No. EXC-2094 - 390783311). This research used resources of the Central Computing System owned and operated by the Computing Research Center at

Funding Information:
of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The European Space Agency (ESA) has led a Concurrent Design Facility study, focused on the MHFT and Sub-Kelvin coolers, and funded Technology Research Programmes for “Large radii Half-Wave Plate (HWP) development” (contract number: 4000123266/18/NL/AF) and for the ‘Development of Large Anti-Reflection Coated Lenses for Passive (Sub)Millimeter-Wave Science Instruments” (contract number: 4000128517/19/NL/AS).

Publisher Copyright:
© COPYRIGHT SPIE. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.

Other keywords

  • Cosmic microwave background
  • LiteBIRD
  • Millimeter wavelengths
  • Optical modeling
  • Polarization measurements
  • Refractive telescopes
  • Space telescopes


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