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Robust diffraction-limited near-infrared-to-near-ultraviolet wide-field imaging from stratospheric balloon-borne platforms—Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope performance

Romualdez, L. Javier; Benton, Steven J.; Brown, Anthony M.; Clark, Paul; Damaren, Christopher J.; Eifler, Tim; Fraisse, Aurelien A.; Galloway, Mathew N.; Gill, Ajay; Hartley, John W.; Holder, Bradley; Huff, Eric M.; Jauzac, Mathilde; Jones, William C.; Lagattuta, David; Leung, Jason S.-Y.; Li, Lun; Luu, Thuy Vy T.; Massey, Richard J.; McCleary, Jacqueline; Mullaney, James; Nagy, Johanna M.; Netterfield, C. Barth; Redmond, Susan; Rhodes, Jason D.; Schmoll, Jürgen; Shaaban, Mohamed M.; Sirks, Ellen; Tam, Sut-Ieng

Robust diffraction-limited near-infrared-to-near-ultraviolet wide-field imaging from stratospheric balloon-borne platforms—Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope performance Thumbnail


Authors

L. Javier Romualdez

Steven J. Benton

Paul Clark

Christopher J. Damaren

Tim Eifler

Aurelien A. Fraisse

Mathew N. Galloway

Ajay Gill

John W. Hartley

Bradley Holder

Eric M. Huff

William C. Jones

David Lagattuta

Jason S.-Y. Leung

Lun Li

Thuy Vy T. Luu

Jacqueline McCleary

James Mullaney

Johanna M. Nagy

C. Barth Netterfield

Susan Redmond

Jason D. Rhodes

Mohamed M. Shaaban

Ellen Sirks

Sut-Ieng Tam



Abstract

At a fraction of the total cost of an equivalent orbital mission, scientific balloon-borne platforms, operating above 99.7% of the Earth’s atmosphere, offer attractive, competitive, and effective observational capabilities—namely, space-like seeing, transmission, and backgrounds—which are well suited for modern astronomy and cosmology. The Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope (SUPERBIT) is a diffraction-limited, wide-field, 0.5 m telescope capable of exploiting these observing conditions in order to provide exquisite imaging throughout the near-infrared to near-ultraviolet. It utilizes a robust active stabilization system that has consistently demonstrated a 48 mas 1σ sky-fixed pointing stability over multiple 1 h observations at float. This is achieved by actively tracking compound pendulations via a three-axis gimballed platform, which provides sky-fixed telescope stability at < 500 mas and corrects for field rotation, while employing high-bandwidth tip/tilt optics to remove residual disturbances across the science imaging focal plane. SUPERBIT’s performance during the 2019 commissioning flight benefited from a customized high-fidelity science-capable telescope designed with an exceptional thermo- and opto-mechanical stability as well as a tightly constrained static and dynamic coupling between high-rate sensors and telescope optics. At the currently demonstrated level of flight performance, SUPERBIT capabilities now surpass the science requirements for a wide variety of experiments in cosmology, astrophysics, and stellar dynamics.

Citation

Romualdez, L. J., Benton, S. J., Brown, A. M., Clark, P., Damaren, C. J., Eifler, T., …Tam, S. (2020). Robust diffraction-limited near-infrared-to-near-ultraviolet wide-field imaging from stratospheric balloon-borne platforms—Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope performance. Review of Scientific Instruments, 91(3), Article 034501. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5139711

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 10, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 3, 2020
Publication Date Mar 31, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 18, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 3, 2021
Journal Review of Scientific Instruments
Print ISSN 0034-6748
Electronic ISSN 1089-7623
Publisher American Institute of Physics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 91
Issue 3
Article Number 034501
DOI https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5139711

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Copyright Statement
© 2020 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Romualdez, L. Javier, Benton, Steven J., Brown, Anthony M., Clark, Paul, Damaren, Christopher J., Eifler, Tim, Fraisse, Aurelien A., Galloway, Mathew N., Gill, Ajay, Hartley, John W., Holder, Bradley, Huff, Eric M., Jauzac, Mathilde, Jones, William C., Lagattuta, David, Leung, Jason S.-Y., Li, Lun, Luu, Thuy Vy T., Massey, Richard J., McCleary, Jacqueline, Mullaney, James, Nagy, Johanna M., Netterfield, C. Barth, Redmond, Susan, Rhodes, Jason D., Schmoll, Jürgen, Shaaban, Mohamed M., Sirks, Ellen & Tam, Sut-Ieng (2020). Robust diffraction-limited near-infrared-to-near-ultraviolet wide-field imaging from stratospheric balloon-borne platforms—Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope performance. Review of Scientific Instruments 91(3): 034501 and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5139711







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