19 July 2016 Instrumental performance and results from testing of the BLAST-TNG receiver, submillimeter optics, and MKID detector arrays
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Polarized thermal emission from interstellar dust grains can be used to map magnetic fields in star forming molecular clouds and the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM). The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol) flew from Antarctica in 2010 and 2012 and produced degree-scale polarization maps of several nearby molecular clouds with arcminute resolution. The success of BLASTPol has motivated a next-generation instrument, BLAST-TNG, which will use more than 3000 linear polarization- sensitive microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) combined with a 2.5 m diameter carbon fiber primary mirror to make diffraction-limited observations at 250, 350, and 500 µm. With 16 times the mapping speed of BLASTPol, sub-arcminute resolution, and a longer flight time, BLAST-TNG will be able to examine nearby molecular clouds and the diffuse galactic dust polarization spectrum in unprecedented detail. The 250 μm detec- tor array has been integrated into the new cryogenic receiver, and is undergoing testing to establish the optical and polarization characteristics of the instrument. BLAST-TNG will demonstrate the effectiveness of kilo-pixel MKID arrays for applications in submillimeter astronomy. BLAST-TNG is scheduled to fly from Antarctica in December 2017 for 28 days and will be the first balloon-borne telescope to offer a quarter of the flight for “shared risk” observing by the community.
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Nicholas Galitzki, Nicholas Galitzki, Peter Ade, Peter Ade, Francesco E. Angilè, Francesco E. Angilè, Peter Ashton, Peter Ashton, Jason Austermann, Jason Austermann, Tashalee Billings, Tashalee Billings, George Che, George Che, Hsiao-Mei Cho, Hsiao-Mei Cho, Kristina Davis, Kristina Davis, Mark Devlin, Mark Devlin, Simon Dicker, Simon Dicker, Bradley J. Dober, Bradley J. Dober, Laura M. Fissel, Laura M. Fissel, Yasuo Fukui, Yasuo Fukui, Jiansong Gao, Jiansong Gao, Samuel Gordon, Samuel Gordon, Christopher E. Groppi, Christopher E. Groppi, Seth Hillbrand, Seth Hillbrand, Gene C. Hilton, Gene C. Hilton, Johannes Hubmayr, Johannes Hubmayr, Kent D. Irwin, Kent D. Irwin, Jeffrey Klein, Jeffrey Klein, Dale Li, Dale Li, Zhi-Yun Li, Zhi-Yun Li, Nathan P. Lourie, Nathan P. Lourie, Ian Lowe, Ian Lowe, Hamdi Mani, Hamdi Mani, Peter G. Martin, Peter G. Martin, Philip Mauskopf, Philip Mauskopf, Christopher McKenney, Christopher McKenney, Federico Nati, Federico Nati, Giles Novak, Giles Novak, Enzo Pascale, Enzo Pascale, Giampaolo Pisano, Giampaolo Pisano, Fabio P. Santos, Fabio P. Santos, Douglas Scott, Douglas Scott, Adrian Sinclair, Adrian Sinclair, Juan D. Soler, Juan D. Soler, Carole Tucker, Carole Tucker, Matthew Underhill, Matthew Underhill, Michael Vissers, Michael Vissers, Paul Williams, Paul Williams, "Instrumental performance and results from testing of the BLAST-TNG receiver, submillimeter optics, and MKID detector arrays", Proc. SPIE 9914, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII, 99140J (19 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231167; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231167

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