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Proceedings Paper

A Balloon-Borne Three-Meter Telescope For Far Infrared And Submillimeter Astronomy
Author(s): William F. Hoffmann; Giovanni G. Fazio; Doyal A. Harper
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Paper Abstract

A balloon-borne three-meter telescope for far-infrared and submillimeter astronomy has been proposed jointly by the University of Arizona, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and the University of Chicago. The purpose of this project is to provide a facility for photometry, spectroscopy, and imaging in the spectral region 30 micrometers to 1 millimeter, which is largely inaccessible with ground-based telescopes. The three-meter telescope will provide a much needed gain in sensitivity and spatial resolution compared with present approximately one-meter sized balloon and aircraft telescopes. The telescope is to be a Cassegrain design with an angular resolution diffraction limited to a wavelength of 30 microns. It will be supported on a three axis, gyroscopically-stabilized system with a pointing stability of one arcsecond rms. The overall weight of telescope and gondola is expected to be approximately 2800 kg, assuming a lightweight mirror formed as a welded structure of Pyrex or fused silica. We are also studying the possibility of using a carbon fiber reinforced plastic sandwich panel for the primary and secondary mirrors and carbon fiber reinforced plastic members for the telescope structure. The intended operation is approximately five 8 to 10 hour flights per year carrying two instruments at a time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 November 1983
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 0444, Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes II, (3 November 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.937957
Show Author Affiliations
William F. Hoffmann, University of Arizona (United States)
Giovanni G. Fazio, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Doyal A. Harper, University of Chicago (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0444:
Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes II
Lawrence D. Barr; Brian Mack, Editor(s)

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