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BLASTbus electronics: general-purpose readout and control for balloon-borne experiments

Benton, S. J. and Bock, J. J. and Crill, B. P. and Doré, O. P. and Filippini, J. P. and Golwala, S. R. and Hristov, V. V. and Mason, P. V. and Moncelsi, L. and Morford, T. A. and Mroczkowski, T. K. and O'Brient, R. and Tucker, R. S. (2014) BLASTbus electronics: general-purpose readout and control for balloon-borne experiments. In: Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes V. Proceedings of SPIE. No.9145. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 91450V. ISBN 9780819496133.

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We present the second generation BLASTbus electronics. The primary purposes of this system are detector readout, attitude control, and cryogenic housekeeping, for balloon-borne telescopes. Readout of neutron transmutation doped germanium (NTD-Ge) bolometers requires low noise and parallel acquisition of hundreds of analog signals. Controlling a telescope's attitude requires the capability to interface to a wide variety of sensors and motors, and to use them together in a fast, closed loop. To achieve these different goals, the BLASTbus system employs a flexible motherboard-daughterboard architecture. The programmable motherboard features a digital signal processor (DSP) and field-programmable gate array (FPGA), as well as slots for three daughterboards. The daughterboards provide the interface to the outside world, with versions for analog to digital conversion, and optoisolated digital input/output. With the versatility afforded by this design, the BLASTbus also finds uses in cryogenic, thermometry, and power systems. For accurate timing control to tie everything together, the system operates in a fully synchronous manner. BLASTbus electronics have been successfully deployed to the South Pole, and own on stratospheric balloons.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Bock, J. J.0000-0002-5710-5212
Crill, B. P.0000-0002-4650-8518
Doré, O. P.0000-0002-5009-7563
Filippini, J. P.0000-0001-8217-6832
Golwala, S. R.0000-0002-1098-7174
Mason, P. V.0000-0002-7963-7420
Moncelsi, L.0000-0002-4242-3015
Mroczkowski, T. K.0000-0003-3816-5372
Additional Information:© 2014 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The BLASTbus electronics have benefited from the expertise and efforts of specialists at the University of Toronto’s Physics Electronics Resource Center. The SPIDER collaboration gratefully acknowledges the support of NASA (award numbers NNX07AL64G, NNX12AE95G), the Lucille and David Packard Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The BLAST collaboration acknowledges the support of NASA through grant numbers NNX13AE50G S03 and NNX09AB98G, the Leverhulme Trust through the Research Project Grant F/00 407/BN. We further acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Innovation Trust, the Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium, the Fondo Institucional para la Investigacion of the University of Puerto Rico, the Rhode Island Space Grant Consortium. F. Poidevin thanks the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) under the Consolider-Ingenio project CSD2010-00064 (EPI: Exploring the Physics of Inflation). W. C. Jones acknowledges the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. A. S. Rahlin is partially supported through NASAs NESSF Program (12-ASTRO 12R-004). J. D. Soler acknowledges the support of the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ERC grant agreement number 267934. We thank the JPL Research and Technology Development Fund for advancing detector focal plane technology. Logistical support for this project in Antarctica is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation through the U.S. Antarctic Program. We would also like to thank the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) staff for their continued outstanding work.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Leverhulme TrustF/00 407/BN
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
Canada Foundation for InnovationUNSPECIFIED
Ontario Innovation TrustUNSPECIFIED
Puerto Rico Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
University of Puerto RicoUNSPECIFIED
Rhode Island Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)CSD2010-00064
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASA12-ASTRO 12R-004
European Research Council (ERC)267934
JPL Research and Technology Development FundUNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:9145
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180621-083912924
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:S. J. Benton, P. A. Ade, M. Amiri, F. E. Angilè, J. J. Bock, J. R. Bond, S. A. Bryan, H. C. Chiang, C. R. Contaldi, B. P. Crill, M. J. Devlin, B. Dober, O. P. Doré, M. Farhang, J. P. Filippini, L. M. Fissel, A. A. Fraisse, Y. Fukui, N. Galitzki, A. E. Gambrel, N. N. Gandilo, S. R. Golwala, J. E. Gudmundsson, M. Halpern, M. Hasselfield, G. C. Hilton, W. A. Holmes, V. V. Hristov, K. D. Irwin, W. C. Jones, Z. D. Kermish, J. Klein, A. L. Korotkov, C. L. Kuo, C. J. MacTavish, P. V. Mason, T. G. Matthews, K. G. Megerian, L. Moncelsi, T. A. Morford, T. K. Mroczkowski, J. M. Nagy, C. B. Netterfield, G. Novak, D. Nutter, R. O'Brient, R. W. Ogburn, E. Pascale, F. Poidevin, A. S. Rahlin, C. D. Reintsema, J. E. Ruhl, M. C. Runyan, G. Savini, D. Scott, J. A. Shariff, J. D. Soler, N. E. Thomas, A. Trangsrud, M. D. Truch, C. E. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, R. S. Tucker, A. D. Turner, D. Ward-Thompson, A. C. Weber, D. V. Wiebe, E. Y. Young, "BLASTbus electronics: general-purpose readout and control for balloon-borne experiments", Proc. SPIE 9145, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes V, 91450V (22 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056693;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87298
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Jun 2018 16:01
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:47

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