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Optical Engineering

The Imperial College 41-Inch Telescope for Far-Infrared Balloon Astronomy
Author(s): R. D. Joseph; J. Allen; W. P. S. Meikle; K. C. Sugden; M. F. Kessler; D. L. Rosen; G. Masson
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Paper Abstract

We have developed a 41-inch balloon telescope for far-infrared astronomical observations. It is constructed entirely of aluminum alloy, including the optics, and incorporates several novel features. Two composite bolometers, operated at 1.7 K, with adjacent fields of view on the sky, allow us to carry out two-color photometry in the wavelength ranges 40-80 um and 80-400 um. The far-infrared payload flies on a stabilized balloon platform developed in the U.K. as a national facility by the Science Research Council. The maiden flight of both systems was launched in 1976 November. Despite problems with the stabilization system which prevented releasing the telescope from its stow position, we were able to scan a number of far-infrared sources. In-flight calibration, based on detections of both Venus and Saturn, indicates that the far-inqared noise-equivalent flux density* [areance] was ~130 Jy Hz -1/2 for the short wavelength channel and ~500 Jy Hz-1/2 for the long wavelength channel.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 December 1977
PDF: 5 pages
Opt. Eng. 16(6) 166558 doi: 10.1117/12.7972161
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 16, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
R. D. Joseph, Imperial College (United Kingdom)
J. Allen, Imperial College (United Kingdom)
W. P. S. Meikle, Imperial College (United Kingdom)
K. C. Sugden, Imperial College (United Kingdom)
M. F. Kessler, Imperial College (United Kingdom)
D. L. Rosen, Imperial College (United Kingdom)
G. Masson, Imperial College (United Kingdom)


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