Thermal design and performance of the balloon-borne large aperture submillimeter telescope for polarimetry BLASTPol

J. D. Soler*, P. A.R. Ade, F. E. Angilè, S. J. Benton, M. J. Devlin, B. Dober, L. M. Fissel, Y. Fukui, N. Galitzki, N. N. Gandilo, J. Klein, A. L. Korotkov, T. G. Matthews, L. Moncelsi, A. Mroczkowski, C. B. Netterfield, G. Novak, D. Nutter, E. Pascale, F. PoidevinG. Savini, D. Scott, Jamil A. Shariff, N. E. Thomas, M. D. Truch, C. E. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, D. Ward-Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

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

10 Scopus citations


We present the thermal model of the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol). This instrument was successfully own in two circumpolar flights from McMurdo, Antarctica in 2010 and 2012. During these two flights, BLASTPol obtained unprecedented information about the magnetic field in molecular clouds through the measurement of the polarized thermal emission of interstellar dust grains. The thermal design of the experiment addresses the stability and control of the payload necessary for this kind of measurement. We describe the thermal modeling of the payload including the sun-shielding strategy. We present the in-flight thermal performance of the instrument and compare the predictions of the model with the temperatures registered during the flight. We describe the difficulties of modeling the thermal behavior of the balloon-borne platform and establish landmarks that can be used in the design of future balloon-borne instruments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes V
EditorsHelen J. Hall, Larry M. Stepp, Roberto Gilmozzi
ISBN (Electronic)9780819496133
StatePublished - 2014
EventGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes V - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jun 22 2014Jun 27 2014

Publication series

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


OtherGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes V


  • BLASTPol
  • balloon-borne telescope
  • polarimeter
  • submillimeter
  • thermal design

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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