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Proceedings Paper

Towards a European Stratospheric Balloon Observatory: the ESBO design study
Author(s): Philipp Maier; Jürgen Wolf; Thomas Keilig; Alfred Krabbe; Rene Duffard; Jose-Luis Ortiz; Sabine Klinkner; Michael Lengowski; Thomas Müller; Christian Lockowandt; Christian Krockstedt; Norbert Kappelmann; Beate Stelzer; Klaus Werner; Stephan Geier; Christoph Kalkuhl; Thomas Rauch; Thomas Schanz; Jürgen Barnstedt; Lauro Conti; Lars Hanke
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents the concept of a community-accessible stratospheric balloon-based observatory that is currently under preparation by a consortium of European research institutes and industry.

The planned European Stratospheric Balloon Observatory (ESBO) aims at complementing the current landscape of scientific ballooning activities by providing a service-centered infrastructure tailored towards broad astronomical use. In particular, the concept focuses on reusable platforms with exchangeable instruments and telescopes performing regular flights and an operations concept that provides researchers with options to test and operate own instruments, but later on also a proposal-based access to observations. It thereby aims at providing a complement to ground-, space-based, and airborne observatories in terms of access to wavelength regimes – particularly the ultraviolet (UV) and far infrared (FIR) regimes –, spatial resolution capability, and photometric stability. Within the currently ongoing ESBO Design Study (ESBO DS), financed within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, a prototype platform carrying a 0.5-m telescope for UV and visible light observations is being built and concepts for larger following platforms, leading up to a next-generation FIR telescope are being studied. A flight of the UV/visible prototype platform is currently foreseen for 2021.

We present the technical motivation, science case, instrumentation, and a two-stage image stabilization approach of the 0.5-m UV/visible platform. In addition, we briefly describe the novel mid-sized stabilized balloon gondola under design to carry telescopes in the 0.5 to 0.6 m range as well as the currently considered flight option for this platform.

Secondly, we outline the scientific and technical motivation for a large balloon-based FIR telescope and the ESBO DS approach towards such an infrastructure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2018
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 10700, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII, 107004M (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2319248
Show Author Affiliations
Philipp Maier, Univ. of Stuttgart (Germany)
Jürgen Wolf, Univ. of Stuttgart (Germany)
Thomas Keilig, Univ. of Stuttgart (Germany)
Alfred Krabbe, Univ. of Stuttgart (Germany)
Rene Duffard, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Spain)
Jose-Luis Ortiz, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Spain)
Sabine Klinkner, Univ. of Stuttgart (Germany)
Michael Lengowski, Univ. of Stuttgart (Germany)
Thomas Müller, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
Christian Lockowandt, Swedish Space Corp. (Sweden)
Christian Krockstedt, Swedish Space Corp. (Sweden)
Norbert Kappelmann, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Beate Stelzer, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Klaus Werner, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Stephan Geier, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Univ. Potsdam (Germany)
Christoph Kalkuhl, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Thomas Rauch, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Thomas Schanz, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Jürgen Barnstedt, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Lauro Conti, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Lars Hanke, Univ. Tübingen (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10700:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII
Heather K. Marshall; Jason Spyromilio, Editor(s)

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