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The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope: BLAST

Pascale, E. and Ade, P. A. R. and Bock, J. J. and Chapin, E. L. and Chung, J. and Devlin, M. J. and Dicker, S. and Griffin, M. and Gundersen, J. O. and Halpern, M. and Hargrave, P. C. and Hughes, D. H. and Klein, J. and MacTavish, C. J. and Marsden, G. and Martin, P. G. and Martin, T. G. and Mauskopf, P. and Netterfield, C. B. and Olmi, L. and Patanchon, G. and Rex, M. and Scott, D. and Semisch, C. and Thomas, N. and Truch, M. D. P. and Tucker, C. and Tucker, G. S. and Viero, M. P. and Wiebe, D. V. (2008) The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope: BLAST. Astrophysical Journal, 681 (1). pp. 400-414. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/588541.

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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 ≾5'' 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
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Pascale, E.0000-0002-3242-8154
Ade, P. A. R.0000-0002-5127-0401
Bock, J. J.0000-0002-5710-5212
Halpern, M.0000-0002-1760-0868
Hargrave, P. C.0000-0002-3109-6629
Martin, P. G.0000-0002-5236-3896
Mauskopf, P.0000-0001-6397-5516
Olmi, L.0000-0002-1162-7947
Scott, D.0000-0002-6878-9840
Tucker, G. S.0000-0002-6954-6947
Additional Information:© 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 May 29; accepted 2008 March 20. The BLAST collaboration acknowledges the support of NASA through grants NAG5-12785, NAG5-13301, and NNGO-6GI11G, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Innovation Trust, the Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium, the Fondo Istitucional para la Investigacion of the University of Puerto Rico, and the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs; C. B. N. also acknowledges support from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. L. O. would like to acknowledge Pietro Bolli for his help with physical optics simulations during the testing phase of the BLAST06 telescope. We would also like to thank the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) staff for their outstanding work, the Precision Machining Group at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, the support received from Empire Dynamic Structures in the design and construction of the gondola, Daniele Mortari for helpful discussions in the development of the Pyramid code, Dan Swetz for building the Fourier transform spectrometer, and Luke Bruneaux, Kyle Lepage, Danica Marsden, Vjera Miovic, and James Watt for their contribution to the project.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canada Foundation for InnovationUNSPECIFIED
Ontario Innovation TrustUNSPECIFIED
Puerto Rico Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
University of Puerto RicoUNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:balloons; galaxies: evolution; instrumentation: miscellaneous; stars: formation; submillimeter
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090517-211252065
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14246
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:08 Jul 2009 18:21
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:44

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