18 July 2008 The Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for polarization: BLAST-pol
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The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) is a sub-orbital experiment designed to study the process of star formation in local galaxies (including the Milky Way) and in galaxies at cosmological distances. Using a 2m Cassegrain telescope, BLAST images the sky onto a focal plane, which consists of 270 bolometric detectors split between three arrays, observing simultaneously in 30% wide bands, centered at 250, 350, and 500 μm. The diffraction-limited optical system provides a resolution of 30" at 250 μm. The pointing system enables raster-like scans with a positional accuracy of ~30", reconstructed to better than 5" rms in postflight analysis. BLAST had two successful flights, from the Arctic in 2005, and from Antarctica in 2006, which provided the first high-resolution and large-area (~0.8−200 deg2) submillimeter surveys at these wavelengths. As a pathfinder for the SPIRE instrument on Herschel, BLAST shares with the ESA satellite similar focal plane technology and scientific motivation. A third flight in 2009 will see the instrument modified to be polarization-sensitive (BLAST-pol). With its unprecedented mapping speed and resolution, BLAST-pol will provide insights into Galactic star-forming nurseries, and give the necessary link between the larger, coarse resolution surveys and the narrow, resolved observations of star-forming structures from space and ground based instruments being commissioned in the next 5 years.
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G. Marsden, G. Marsden, P. A. R. Ade, P. A. R. Ade, S. Benton, S. Benton, J. J. Bock, J. J. Bock, E. L. Chapin, E. L. Chapin, J. Chung, J. Chung, M. J. Devlin, M. J. Devlin, S. Dicker, S. Dicker, L. Fissel, L. Fissel, M. Griffin, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, J. Klein, A. Korotkov, A. Korotkov, C. J. MacTavish, C. J. MacTavish, P. G. Martin, P. G. Martin, T. G. Martin, T. G. Martin, T. G. Matthews, T. G. Matthews, P. Mauskopf, P. Mauskopf, L. Moncelsi, L. Moncelsi, C. B. Netterfield, C. B. Netterfield, G. Novak, G. Novak, E. Pascale, E. Pascale, L. Olmi, L. Olmi, G. Patanchon, G. Patanchon, M. Rex, M. Rex, G. Savini, G. Savini, D. Scott, D. Scott, C. Semisch, C. Semisch, N. Thomas, N. Thomas, M. D. P. Truch, M. D. P. Truch, C. Tucker, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, M. P. Viero, D. Ward-Thompson, D. Ward-Thompson, D. V. Wiebe, D. V. Wiebe, "The Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for polarization: BLAST-pol", Proc. SPIE 7020, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 702002 (18 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788413; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.788413

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