This study will address the design and concept of future Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiments and in particular a future CMB satellite to extract cosmological information from the polarized CMB photons. The research will aim at deriving forecasts of the optimal (instrumental and observational) parameters of future CMB experiments, considering technical and hardware aspects along with theoretical modeling, astrophysics and statistics. In addition, the study will address the complementarity of ground based, balloon and space experiments, and investigate how new technologies could impact future measurements from these platforms.
While this work will aim at setting constraints on cosmic inflation, dark matter, light relics and neutrinos as well as cosmological structure formation, it will focus primarily on studying/tackling the challenges posed by foreground emission, CMB lensing, and instrumental systematics, major stumbling blocks for the search of primordial B-modes in CMB data. This focus, and stimulation of demonstrable (and presently mostly nonexistent, given the severity of demands on the requisite measurement fidelity) solutions of the pertinent problems, is necessary for constructive approach to the grand challenge of the CMB cosmology – to obtain credible measurements of the CMB B-mode polarization of primordial origin, and probe firmly the earliest evolutionary epochs of the universe. This work will explore innovative ideas and methodologies aiming at assessing properly the impact of the presence of foreground residuals, lensing-induced B-modes, and instrumental systematics in the CMB maps on the measurements of the tensor–toscalar ratio, r, and the Thomson scattering optical depth, τ.
Our program will help understand what performance can be achieved given novel experimental designs. New concepts for a potential CMB probe and a CMB-S4-class experiment will emerge.