skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: THE BALLOON-BORNE LARGE APERTURE SUBMILLIMETER TELESCOPE (BLAST) 2006: CALIBRATION AND FLIGHT PERFORMANCE

Abstract

The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) operated successfully during a 250 hr flight over Antarctica in 2006 December (BLAST06). As part of the calibration and pointing procedures, the red hypergiant star VY CMa was observed and used as the primary calibrator. Details of the overall BLAST06 calibration procedure are discussed. The 1sigma uncertainty on the absolute calibration is accurate to 9.5%, 8.7%, and 9.2% at the 250, 350, and 500 mum bands, respectively. The errors are highly correlated between bands resulting in much lower errors for the derived shape of the 250-500 mum continuum. The overall pointing error is < 5'' rms for the 36'', 42'', and 60'' beams. The performance of optics and pointing systems is discussed.

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]; ; ; ; ; ;  [2];  [3]; ; ;  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, 5 The Parade, Cardiff, CF24 3AA (United Kingdom)
  3. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099 (United States)
  4. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 (Canada)
  5. Department of Physics, University of Miami, 1320 Campo Sano Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146 (United States)
  6. Instituto Nacional de AstrofIsica Optica y Electronica (INAOE), Aptdo. Postal 51 y 72000 Puebla (Mexico)
  7. Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 60 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada)
  8. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada)
  9. Physics Department, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, Box 23343, UPR Station, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
  10. Universite Paris Diderot, Laboratoire APC, 10 rue Alice Domon et Leonie Duquet 75205 Paris (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21392534
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 707; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/707/2/1723
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ANTARCTICA; APERTURES; BALLOONS; CALIBRATION; EXPLOSIONS; STARS; TELESCOPES; AIRCRAFT; ANTARCTIC REGIONS; CRYOSPHERE; OPENINGS; POLAR REGIONS

Citation Formats

Truch, Matthew D. P., Devlin, Mark J., Dicker, Simon R., Klein, Jeff, Ade, Peter A. R., Griffin, Matthew, Hargrave, Peter C., Mauskopf, Philip, Moncelsi, Lorenzo, Pascale, Enzo, Bock, James J., Chapin, Edward L., Halpern, Mark, Marsden, Gaelen, Gundersen, Joshua O., Hughes, David H., Martin, Peter G., Netterfield, C. Barth, Olmi, Luca, and Patanchon, Guillaume, E-mail: matthew@truch.ne. THE BALLOON-BORNE LARGE APERTURE SUBMILLIMETER TELESCOPE (BLAST) 2006: CALIBRATION AND FLIGHT PERFORMANCE. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/707/2/1723.
Truch, Matthew D. P., Devlin, Mark J., Dicker, Simon R., Klein, Jeff, Ade, Peter A. R., Griffin, Matthew, Hargrave, Peter C., Mauskopf, Philip, Moncelsi, Lorenzo, Pascale, Enzo, Bock, James J., Chapin, Edward L., Halpern, Mark, Marsden, Gaelen, Gundersen, Joshua O., Hughes, David H., Martin, Peter G., Netterfield, C. Barth, Olmi, Luca, & Patanchon, Guillaume, E-mail: matthew@truch.ne. THE BALLOON-BORNE LARGE APERTURE SUBMILLIMETER TELESCOPE (BLAST) 2006: CALIBRATION AND FLIGHT PERFORMANCE. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/707/2/1723.
Truch, Matthew D. P., Devlin, Mark J., Dicker, Simon R., Klein, Jeff, Ade, Peter A. R., Griffin, Matthew, Hargrave, Peter C., Mauskopf, Philip, Moncelsi, Lorenzo, Pascale, Enzo, Bock, James J., Chapin, Edward L., Halpern, Mark, Marsden, Gaelen, Gundersen, Joshua O., Hughes, David H., Martin, Peter G., Netterfield, C. Barth, Olmi, Luca, and Patanchon, Guillaume, E-mail: matthew@truch.ne. Sun . "THE BALLOON-BORNE LARGE APERTURE SUBMILLIMETER TELESCOPE (BLAST) 2006: CALIBRATION AND FLIGHT PERFORMANCE". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/707/2/1723.
@article{osti_21392534,
title = {THE BALLOON-BORNE LARGE APERTURE SUBMILLIMETER TELESCOPE (BLAST) 2006: CALIBRATION AND FLIGHT PERFORMANCE},
author = {Truch, Matthew D. P. and Devlin, Mark J. and Dicker, Simon R. and Klein, Jeff and Ade, Peter A. R. and Griffin, Matthew and Hargrave, Peter C. and Mauskopf, Philip and Moncelsi, Lorenzo and Pascale, Enzo and Bock, James J. and Chapin, Edward L. and Halpern, Mark and Marsden, Gaelen and Gundersen, Joshua O. and Hughes, David H. and Martin, Peter G. and Netterfield, C. Barth and Olmi, Luca and Patanchon, Guillaume, E-mail: matthew@truch.ne},
abstractNote = {The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) operated successfully during a 250 hr flight over Antarctica in 2006 December (BLAST06). As part of the calibration and pointing procedures, the red hypergiant star VY CMa was observed and used as the primary calibrator. Details of the overall BLAST06 calibration procedure are discussed. The 1sigma uncertainty on the absolute calibration is accurate to 9.5%, 8.7%, and 9.2% at the 250, 350, and 500 mum bands, respectively. The errors are highly correlated between bands resulting in much lower errors for the derived shape of the 250-500 mum continuum. The overall pointing error is < 5'' rms for the 36'', 42'', and 60'' beams. The performance of optics and pointing systems is discussed.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/707/2/1723},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 707,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Dec 20 00:00:00 EST 2009},
month = {Sun Dec 20 00:00:00 EST 2009}
}
  • We present Cygnus X in a new multi-wavelength perspective based on an unbiased BLAST survey at 250, 350, and 500 {mu}m, combined with rich data sets for this well-studied region. Our primary goal is to investigate the early stages of high-mass star formation. We have detected 184 compact sources in various stages of evolution across all three BLAST bands. From their well-constrained spectral energy distributions, we obtain the physical properties mass, surface density, bolometric luminosity, and dust temperature. Some of the bright sources reaching 40 K contain well-known compact H II regions. We relate these to other sources at earliermore » stages of evolution via the energetics as deduced from their position in the luminosity-mass (L-M) diagram. The BLAST spectral coverage, near the peak of the spectral energy distribution of the dust, reveals fainter sources too cool ({approx}10 K) to be seen by earlier shorter-wavelength surveys like IRAS. We detect thermal emission from infrared dark clouds and investigate the phenomenon of cold 'starless cores' more generally. Spitzer images of these cold sources often show stellar nurseries, but these potential sites for massive star formation are 'starless' in the sense that to date there is no massive protostar in a vigorous accretion phase. We discuss evolution in the context of the L-M diagram. Theory raises some interesting possibilities: some cold massive compact sources might never form a cluster containing massive stars, and clusters with massive stars might not have an identifiable compact cold massive precursor.« less
  • The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol) was created by adding polarimetric capability to the BLAST experiment that was flown in 2003, 2005, and 2006. BLASTPol inherited BLAST's 1.8 m primary and its Herschel/SPIRE heritage focal plane that allows simultaneous observation at 250, 350, and 500 μm. We flew BLASTPol in 2010 and again in 2012. Both were long duration Antarctic flights. Here we present polarimetry of the nearby filamentary dark cloud Lupus I obtained during the 2010 flight. Despite limitations imposed by the effects of a damaged optical component, we were able to clearly detect submillimeter polarizationmore » on degree scales. We compare the resulting BLASTPol magnetic field map with a similar map made via optical polarimetry. (The optical data were published in 1998 by J. Rizzo and collaborators.) The two maps partially overlap and are reasonably consistent with one another. We compare these magnetic field maps to the orientations of filaments in Lupus I, and we find that the dominant filament in the cloud is approximately perpendicular to the large-scale field, while secondary filaments appear to run parallel to the magnetic fields in their vicinities. This is similar to what is observed in Serpens South via near-IR polarimetry, and consistent with what is seen in MHD simulations by F. Nakamura and Z. Li.« less
  • In this work we present the results of imaging simulations performed with the help of the GEANT4 package for the protoMIRAX hard X-ray balloon experiment. The instrumental background was simulated taking into account the various radiation components and their angular dependence, as well as a detailed mass model of the experiment. We modelled the meridian transits of the Crab Nebula and the Galactic Centre (CG) region during balloon flights in Brazil (∼ −23° of latitude and an altitude of ∼40 km) and introduced the correspondent spectra as inputs to the imaging simulations. We present images of the Crab and ofmore » three sources in the GC: 1E 1740.7-2942, GRS 1758-258 and GX 1+4. The results show that the protoMIRAX experiment is capable of making spectral and timing observations of bright hard X-ray sources as well as important imaging demonstrations that will contribute to the design of the MIRAX satellite mission.« less
  • In this article, we present a comprehensive report on the experimental details of the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) long-duration balloon payload, including the design philosophy and realization, physics simulations, performance of the instrument during its first Antarctic flight completed in January of 2007, and expectations for the limiting neutrino detection sensitivity.