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Overview, design, and flight results from SuperBIT : a high-resolution, wide-field, visible-to-near-UV balloon-borne astronomical telescope.

Romualdez, L. J. and Benton, S. and Brown, A. and Clark, P. and Damaren, C. and Eifler, T. and Fraisse, A. and Galloway, M. and Hartley, J. and Jauzac, M. and Jones, W. and Li, L. and Luu, T. and Massey, R. and McCleary, J. and Netterfield, C. and Redmond, S. and Rhodes, J. and Schmoll, J. and Tam, S. (2018) 'Overview, design, and flight results from SuperBIT : a high-resolution, wide-field, visible-to-near-UV balloon-borne astronomical telescope.', in Proceedings of SPIE, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII. Bellingham: SPIE, 107020R. Astronomy Group; Proceedings of SPIE. (10702).


Balloon-borne astronomy is a unique tool that allows for a level of image stability and significantly reduced atmospheric interference without the often prohibitive cost and long development time-scale that are characteristic of space-borne facility-class instruments. The Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope (SuperBIT) is a wide-field imager designed to provide 0.02" image stability over a 0.5 degree field-of-view for deep exposures within the visible-to-near-UV (300-900 um). As such, SuperBIT is a suitable platform for a wide range of balloon-borne observations, including solar and extrasolar planetary spectroscopy as well as resolved stellar populations and distant galaxies. We report on the overall payload design and instrumentation methodologies for SuperBIT as well as telescope and image stability results from two test flights. Prospects for the SuperBIT project are outlined with an emphasis on the development of a fully operational, three-month science flight from New Zealand in 2020.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Publisher statement:Copyright 2018 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic electronic or print reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:18 July 2018
Date of first online publication:06 July 2018
Date first made open access:No date available

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