The next-generation BLASTPol experiment

Bradley J. Dober, Peter A R Ade, Peter Ashton, Francesco E. Angilè, James A. Beall, Dan Becker, Kristi J. Bradford, George Che, Hsiao Mei Cho, Mark J. Devlin, Laura M. Fissel, Yasuo Fukui, Nicholas Galitzki, Jiansong Gao, Christopher Groppi, Seth Hillbrand, Gene C. Hilton, Johannes Hubmayr, Kent D. Irwin, Jeffrey KleinJeff Van Lanen, Dale Li, Zhi Yun Li, Nathan P. Lourie, Hamdi Mani, Peter G. Martin, Philip Mauskopf, Fumitaka Nakamura, Giles Novak, David P. Pappas, Enzo Pascale, Fabio P. Santos, Giorgio Savini, Douglas Scott, Sara Stanchfield, Joel N. Ullom, Matthew Underhill, Michael R. Vissers, Derek Ward-Thompson

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

15 Scopus citations


The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol) is a suborbital mapping experiment designed to study the role magnetic fields play in star formation. BLASTPol has had two science flights from McMurdo Station, Antarctica in 2010 and 2012. These flights have produced thousands of polarization vectors at 250, 350 and 500 microns in several molecular cloud targets. We present the design, specifications, and progress towards the next-generation BLASTPol experiment (BLAST-TNG). BLAST-TNG will fly a 40% larger diameter primary mirror, with almost 8 times the number of polarization-sensitive detectors resulting in a factor of 16 increase in mapping speed. With a spatial resolution of 2200 and four times the field of view (340 arcmin2) of BLASTPol, BLAST-TNG will bridge the angular scales between Planck's all-sky maps with 50 resolution and ALMA's ultra-high resolution narrow (∼ 2000) fields. The new receiver has a larger cryogenics volume, allowing for a 28 day hold time. BLAST-TNG employs three arrays of Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs) with 30% fractional bandwidth at 250, 350 and 500 microns. In this paper, we will present the new BLAST-TNG instrument and science objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VII
EditorsJonas Zmuidzinas, Wayne S. Holland
ISBN (Electronic)9780819496218
StatePublished - 2014
EventMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VII - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jun 24 2014Jun 27 2014

Publication series

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


OtherMillimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VII


  • Balloon Payload
  • Instrumentation
  • MKID
  • Molecular Cloud
  • Polarimetry
  • Star Formation
  • Submillimeter

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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