Experimental and Observational Astrophysics & Cosmology
Mariangela Bernardi, Gary Bernstein, Mark Devlin, Masao Sako
BLAST - Balloon-borne Large Aperture Telescope
BLAST: The "Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope," flies from a Long Duration Balloon (LDB) platform and incorporates a 2-meter primary mirror with large-format bolometer arrays operating at 250, 350 and 500 microns. By providing the first sensitive large-area (~0.5-40 square degrees) submillimeter surveys at these wavelengths, BLAST will address some of the most important cosmological and Galactic questions regarding the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies and clusters.
Penn Array (MUSTANG)
Penn Array (MUSTANG)The University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the National Insitute of Standards and Technology, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, have built 3 millimeter array of 8x8 TES detectors for the GBT. The GBT will have a better sensitivity in this range than current telescopes. The 90 GHz array will be a user instrument and is suitable for many different observations.
Inaugural observations were made of a star-forming region in the Orion Nebula.
PAPPA is a balloon-borne instrument to measure the polarization of the cosmic micorwave background at millimeter wavelengths. It will search for the signature of gravity waves excited in an inflationary epoch shortly after the Big Bang. PAPPA uses a "polarimeter-on-a-chip" to instantaneously measure the Stokes I, Q, and U parameters in each pixel of the array. PAPPA is a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
ACT - Atacama Cosmology Telescope
ACT - Atacama Cosmology Telescope The Atacama Cosmology Telescope project aims to observe the microwave sky in three frequency bands at high angular resolution and sensitivity over a substantial region of the sky. ACT is a custom-designed 6-meter off-axis Gregorian telescope built by AMEC Dynamic Structures. The ACT detectors are transition-edge-sensing superconducting bolometers, assembled into detector arrays and read out with SQUID multiplexers. ACT's Millimeter-Wave Bolometric Camera (MBAC) will consist of three 32x32 arrays of bolometers, with each bolometer approximately 1 square millimeter in size; each array corresponds to one of the three ACT frequency channels at 150 GHz, 220 GHz, and 270 GHz.