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Space-quality data from balloon-borne telescopes: the High Altitude Lensing Observatory (HALO)

Rhodes, Jason and Dobke, Benjamin M. and Booth, Jeffrey and Massey, Richard and Liewer, Kurt and Smith, Roger and Amara, Adam and Aldrich, Jack and Berge, Joel and Bezawada, Naidu and Brugarolas, Paul B. and Clark, Paul and Dubbeldam, Cornelius M. and Ellis, Richard S. and Frenk, Carlos and Gallie, Angus and Heavens, Alan and Henry, David and Jullo, Eric and Kitching, Thomas and Lanzi, James and Lilly, Simon and Lunney, David and Miyazaki, Satoshi and Morris, David and Paine, Christopher and Peacock, John and Pellegrino, Sergio and Pittock, Roger and Pool, Peter and Refregier, Alexandre and Seiffert, Michael and Sharples, Ray and Smith, Alexandra and Stuchlik, David and Taylor, Andy and Teplitz, Harry and Vanderveld, R. Ali and Wu, James (2012) Space-quality data from balloon-borne telescopes: the High Altitude Lensing Observatory (HALO). Astroparticle Physics, 38 . pp. 31-40. ISSN 0927-6505.

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We present a method for attaining sub-arcsecond pointing stability during sub-orbital balloon flights, as designed for in the High Altitude Lensing Observatory (HALO) concept. The pointing method presented here has the potential to perform near-space quality optical astronomical imaging at ~1–2% of the cost of space-based missions. We also discuss an architecture that can achieve sufficient thermo-mechanical stability to match the pointing stability. This concept is motivated by advances in the development and testing of Ultra Long Duration Balloon (ULDB) flights which promise to allow observation campaigns lasting more than three months. The design incorporates a multi-stage pointing architecture comprising: a gondola coarse azimuth control system, a multi-axis nested gimbal frame structure with arcsecond stability, a telescope de-rotator to eliminate field rotation, and a fine guidance stage consisting of both a telescope mounted angular rate sensor and guide CCDs in the focal plane to drive a Fast-Steering Mirror. We discuss the results of pointing tests together with a preliminary thermo-mechanical analysis required for subarcsecond pointing at high altitude. Possible future applications in the areas of wide-field surveys and exoplanet searches are also discussed.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Clark, Paul0000-0002-6576-7400
Ellis, Richard S.0000-0001-7782-7071
Jullo, Eric0000-0002-9253-053X
Lilly, Simon0000-0002-6423-3597
Pellegrino, Sergio0000-0001-9373-3278
Smith, Alexandra0000-0002-1938-4660
Teplitz, Harry0000-0002-7064-5424
Additional Information:© 2012 Elsevier BV. Received 13 March 2012; Received in revised form 24 April 2012; Accepted 7 May 2012; Available online 2 June 2012. The authors thank to Joan Ervin, Roger Lee, Tanaz Mozafari, Barth Netterfield, Wes Traub, Chris Stoughton and David Pierce for work and discussions relating to the HALO concept. RJM acknowledges financial support through STFC Advanced Fellowship PP/E006450/1. The work of JR, BMD, JB, KL, PB, EJ, JA and CP was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). EJ acknowledges the support of ORAU under contract with NASA.
Group:GALCIT, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)PP/E006450/1
Subject Keywords:Weak lensing; Cosmology; Surveys; Balloons
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121212-100123634
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Jason Rhodes, Benjamin Dobke, Jeffrey Booth, Richard Massey, Kurt Liewer, Roger Smith, Adam Amara, Jack Aldrich, Joel Berge, Naidu Bezawada, Paul Brugarolas, Paul Clark, Cornelis M. Dubbeldam, Richard Ellis, Carlos Frenk, Angus Gallie, Alan Heavens, David Henry, Eric Jullo, Thomas Kitching, James Lanzi, Simon Lilly, David Lunney, Satoshi Miyazaki, David Morris, Christopher Paine, John Peacock, Sergio Pellegrino, Roger Pittock, Peter Pool, Alexandre Refregier, Michael Seiffert, Ray Sharples, Alexandra Smith, David Stuchlik, Andy Taylor, Harry Teplitz, R. Ali Vanderveld, James Wu, Space-quality data from balloon-borne telescopes: The High Altitude Lensing Observatory (HALO), Astroparticle Physics, Volume 38, October 2012, Pages 31-40, ISSN 0927-6505, 10.1016/j.astropartphys.2012.05.015.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35939
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:12 Dec 2012 18:26
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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