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CIBER: A Near-Infrared Probe of the Epoch of Reionization


Sullivan, Ian Sorensen (2011) CIBER: A Near-Infrared Probe of the Epoch of Reionization. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/EFS6-PJ64.


The Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER) is a NASA sounding rocket payload that was first launched in February 2009. CIBER consists of four co-aligned instruments designed to study the near-Infrared background by measuring fluctuations and the absolute spectrum. The platform of a sounding rocket enables observations of the near-Infrared background outside of narrow atmospheric windows that are uncontaminated by airglow. CIBER uses two spectrometers to measure the absolute brightness spectrum of the extragalactic near-Infrared background. One, a high-resolution Fabry-Perot spectometer, is tuned to the 854.5 nm CaII line of the solar spectrum, and is designed to measure the absolute brightness of the Zodiacal Light directly, which is the source of greatest uncertainty in the near-Infrared background spectrum. The second spectrometer measures the near-Infrared background spectrum from 700 nm to 1800 nm, spanning the wavelength range where a Lyman limit cutoff feature from reionization could appear. CIBER also houses two Infrared imaging telescopes, which have identical optics that give 2 x 2 degree field of views with 7 arcsecond pixels, but have different band defining filters. The first imager has a wide band centered at 1600 nm, and images the background at the expected peak of the spectrum. The imagers’ wide field of view allows them to measure the distinctive power spectrum of first-light galaxy fluctuations peaking at 10 arcminutes. The second imager has a wide band centered at 1000 nm that is intended to image at wavelengths shorter than the Lyman cutoff, and provides a powerful systematic test for any detection made at 1600 nm. First-light fluctuations should have a distinctive spatial power spectrum with very red 1600 nm / 1000 nm color, distinctly redder than the approximately solar color of any residual fluctuations arising from Zodiacal light, Galactic starlight, or moderate-redshift galaxies. This work describes the design and characterization of the instruments for the first launch, and the modifications and further characterization that have led to a second flight in July 2010 that successfully eliminated the most serious instrumental problems identified in the first flight.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Near-infrared background fluctuations; Astrophysics; Reionization; Sounding rocket
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Bock, James J.
Group:Astronomy Department
Thesis Committee:
  • Golwala, Sunil (chair)
  • Bock, James J.
  • Cooray, Asantha
  • Kamionkowski, Marc P.
Defense Date:6 August 2010
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:08172010-183547836
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5995
Deposited By: Ian Sullivan
Deposited On:01 Nov 2010 20:58
Last Modified:04 Mar 2020 22:00

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