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Proceedings Paper

The Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for polarization: BLAST-pol
Author(s): 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. Matthews; P. 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
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Paper 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 2m 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 500 μm. 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 ~30", reconstructed to better than 5" rms in postflight 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7020, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 702002 (18 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788413
Show Author Affiliations
G. Marsden, Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
P. A. R. Ade, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
S. Benton, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
J. J. Bock, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
California Institute of Technology (United States)
E. L. Chapin, Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
J. Chung, Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
M. J. Devlin, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
S. Dicker, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
L. Fissel, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
M. Griffin, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
J. O. Gundersen, Univ. of Miami (United States)
M. Halpern, Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
P. C. Hargrave, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
D. H. Hughes, Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica Óptica y Electrónica (Mexico)
J. Klein, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
A. Korotkov, Brown Univ. (United States)
C. J. MacTavish, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
P. G. Martin, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (Canada)
Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
T. G. Martin, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
T. G. Matthews, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
P. Mauskopf, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
L. Moncelsi, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
C. B. Netterfield, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
G. Novak, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
E. Pascale, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
L. Olmi, Istituto di Radioastronimia (Italy)
Univ. of Puerto Rico (United States)
G. Patanchon, Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
Lab. APC (France)
M. Rex, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
G. Savini, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
D. Scott, Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
C. Semisch, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
N. Thomas, Univ. of Miami (United States)
M. D. P. Truch, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
C. Tucker, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
G. S. Tucker, Brown Univ. (United States)
M. P. Viero, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
D. Ward-Thompson, Cardiff Univ. (United Kingdom)
D. V. Wiebe, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7020:
Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
William D. Duncan; Wayne S. Holland; Stafford Withington; Jonas Zmuidzinas, Editor(s)

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