The Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for polarization: BLAST-pol

G. Marsden*, P. A.R. Ade, S. Benton, J. J. Bock, E. L. Chapin, J. Chung, M. J. Devlin, S. Dicker, L. Fissel, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, A. Korotkov, C. J. MacTavish, P. G. Martin, T. G. Martin, T. G. MatthewsP. Mauskopf, L. Moncelsi, C. B. Netterfield, G. Novak, E. Pascale, L. Olmi, G. Patanchon, M. Rex, G. Savini, D. Scott, C. Semisch, N. Thomas, M. D.P. Truch, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, D. Ward-Thompson, D. V. Wiebe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) is a sub-orbital experiment designed to study the process of star formation in local galaxies (including the Milky Way) and in galaxies at cosmological distances. Using a 2 m Cassegrain telescope, BLAST images the sky onto a focal plane, which consists of 270 bolometric detectors split between three arrays, observing simultaneously in 30% wide bands, centered at 250, 350, and 500μm. The diffraction-limited optical system provides a resolution of 30″ at 250 μm. The pointing system enables raster-like scans with a positional accuracy of ∼ ″, reconstructed to better than 5″ rms in post-flight analysis. BLAST had two successful flights, from the Arctic in 2005, and from Antarctica in 2006, which provided the first high-resolution and large-area (∼ 0.8-200 deg2) submillimeter surveys at these wavelengths. As a pathfinder for the SPIRE instrument on Herschel, BLAST shares with the ESA satellite similar focal plane technology and scientific motivation. A third flight in 2009 will see the instrument modified to be polarization-sensitive (BLAST-pol). With its unprecedented mapping speed and resolution, BLAST-pol will provide insights into Galactic star-forming nurseries, and give the necessary link between the larger, coarse resolution surveys and the narrow, resolved observations of star-forming structures from space and ground based instruments being commissioned in the next 5 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMillimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
EventMillimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV - Marseille, France
Duration: Jun 26 2008Jun 28 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume7020
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Other

OtherMillimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityMarseille
Period6/26/086/28/08

Keywords

  • Balloons
  • Instrumentation:miscellaneous
  • Polarization
  • Stars:formation
  • Submillimeter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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