Design and construction of a carbon fiber gondola for the SPIDER balloon-borne telescope
We introduce the light-weight carbon fiber and aluminum gondola designed for the Spider balloon-borne telescope. Spider is designed to measure the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation with unprecedented sensitivity and control of systematics in search of the imprint of inflation: a period of exponential expansion in the early Universe. The requirements of this balloon-borne instrument put tight constrains on the mass budget of the payload. The Spider gondola is designed to house the experiment and guarantee its operational and structural integrity during its balloon-borne flight, while using less than 10% of the total mass of the payload. We present a construction method for the gondola based on carbon fiber reinforced polymer tubes with aluminum inserts and aluminum multi-tube joints. We describe the validation of the model through Finite Element Analysis and mechanical tests.
Additional Information© 2014 SPIE. The SPIDER collaboration gratefully acknowledges the support of NASA (award numbers NNX07AL64G and NNX12AE95G), the Lucille and David Packard Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. We thank the JPL Research and Technology Development Fund for advancing detector focal plane technology. W. C. Jones acknowledges the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. A. S. Rahlin is partially supported through NASAs NESSF Program (12-ASTR012R-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. J. D. Soler thanks Taylor G. Martin and Marco P. Viero for their Valuable comments on computer-aided design and carbon fiber gluing technique. 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.
Published - Soler_2014p91450T.pdf