The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope Observatory

Ian Lowe, Gabriele Coppi, Peter A.R. Ade, Peter C. Ashton, Jason E. Austermann, James Beall, Susan Clark, Erin G. Cox, Mark J. Devlin, Simon Dicker, Bradley J. Dober, Valentina Fanfani, Laura M. Fissel, Nicholas Galitzki, Jiangsong Gao, Brandon Hensley, Johannes Hubmayr, Steven Li, Zhi Yun Li, Nathan P. LouriePeter G. Martin, Philip Mauskopf, Federico Nati, Giles Novak, Giampaolo Pisano, Javier L. Romualdez, Adrian Sinclair, Juan D. Soler, Carole Tucker, Michael Vissers, Jordan Wheeler, Paul A. Williams, Mario Zannoni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


The BLAST Observatory is a proposed super-pressure balloon-borne polarimeter designed for a future ultra- long duration balloon campaign from Wanaka, New Zealand. To maximize scientific output while staying within the stringent super-pressure weight envelope, BLAST will feature new 1.8m off-axis optical system contained within a lightweight monocoque structure gondola. The payload will incorporate a 300 L 4He cryogenic receiver which will cool 8,274 microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) to 100mK through the use of an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator (ADR) in combination with a 3He sorption refrigerator all backed by a liquid helium pumped pot operating at 2 K. The detector readout utilizes a new Xilinx RFSOC-based system which will run the next-generation of the BLAST-TNG KIDPy software. With this instrument we aim to answer outstanding questions about dust dynamics as well as provide community access to the polarized submillimeter sky made possible by high-altitude observing unrestricted by atmospheric transmission. The BLAST Observatory is designed for a minimum 31-day flight of which 70% will be dedicated to observations for BLAST scientific goals and the remaining 30% will be open to proposals from the wider astronomical community through a shared-risk proposals program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes VIII
EditorsHeather K. Marshall, Jason Spyromilio, Tomonori Usuda
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636774
StatePublished - 2020
EventGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes VIII 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Dec 14 2020Dec 22 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-Based and Airborne Telescopes VIII 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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