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The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope: BLAST

Pascale, Enzo, Ade, Peter A. R., Bock, J. J., Chapin, E. L., Chung, J., Devlin, M. J., Dicker, S, Griffin, Matthew Joseph, Gundersen, J. O., Halpern, M., Hargrave, Peter Charles, Hughes, D. H., Klein, J., MacTavish, C. J., Marsden, G., Martin, P. G., Martin, T. G., Mauskopf, Philip Daniel, Netterfield, C. B., Olmi, L., Patanchon, G., Rex, M., Scott, D., Semisch, C., Thomas, N., Truch, M. D. P., Tucker, Carole Elizabeth, Tucker, G. S., Viero, M. P. and Wiebe, D. V. 2008. The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope: BLAST. Astrophysical Journal 681 (1) , pp. 400-414. 10.1086/588541

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Abstract

The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) is a suborbital surveying experiment designed to study the evolutionary history and processes of star formation in local galaxies (including the Milky Way) and galaxies at cosmological distances. The BLAST continuum camera, which consists of 270 detectors distributed between three arrays, observes simultaneously in broadband (30%) spectral windows at 250, 350, and 500 μm. The optical design is based on a 2 m diameter telescope, providing a diffraction-limited resolution of 30'' at 250 μm. The gondola pointing system enables raster mapping of arbitrary geometry, with a repeatable positional accuracy of ~30''; postflight pointing reconstruction to lesssim5'' rms is achieved. The onboard telescope control software permits autonomous execution of a preselected set of maps, with the option of manual override. In this paper we describe the primary characteristics and measured in-flight performance of BLAST. BLAST performed a test flight in 2003 and has since made two scientifically productive long-duration balloon flights: a 100 hr flight from ESRANGE (Kiruna), Sweden to Victoria Island, northern Canada in 2005 June; and a 250 hr, circumpolar flight from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, in 2006 December.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: balloons; galaxies: evolution; instrumentation: miscellaneous; stars: formation; submillimeter
Publisher: IOP Publishing
ISSN: 0004-637X
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2019 22:47
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/7335

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