The next-generation BLASTPol experiment

Holland, Wayne S., Zmuidzinas, Jonas, Dober, Bradley J., Ade, Peter A. R., Ashton, Peter, Angilè, Francesco E., Beall, James A., Becker, Dan, Bradford, Kristi J. et al (2014) The next-generation BLASTPol experiment. Proceedings of SPIE 9153, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy, VII . 91530H. ISSN 0277786X

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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.

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