2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Balloon-borne Large Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope (BLAST-POL)
The BLAST crew and payload just before launch in 2010. Photo courtesy of Mark Devlin. 

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili


ASC POC/Implementer:
Addie Coyac / Brian Johnson

Dr. Mark Devlin (Principal Investigator)
http://blastexperiment.info/External Non U.S. Government Site

University of Pennsylvania
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  LDB Facility at Williams Field

Project Description:
BLAST (Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope) is a comprehensive program to study the link between Galactic magnetic fields and star formation. BLASTPol is the first instrument to combine the sensitivity and mapping speed necessary to trace magnetic fields across entire clouds with the resolution to trace fields down into dense substructures, including cores and laments. BLASTPol therefore provides the critical link between the PLANCK all-sky polarization maps with 5’ resolution and ALMA’s ultra-high resolution, but with only a 20” field of view. BLASTPol will use the PLANCK data to refine its target selection, then ALMA will utilize BLASTPol maps to “zero in” on areas of particular interest. Together, these three instruments will probe the inner workings of star formation with previously unreachable resolution, sensitivity and scope.

Field Season Overview:
This year will be the third float in Antarctica for this instrument; 2006 and 2010 were the prior field seasons. The instrument will be launched on a stratospheric balloon from Williams Field as a part of the CSBF ballooning operations (Stepp A-145). The field party of twelve will begin arriving at McMurdo in late October with the expectation that the instrument will be launched in December.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Francesco Angile
  • Steven Benton
  • Mark Devlin (PI)
  • Bradley Dober
  • Laura Fissel
  • Nicholas Galitzki
  • Natalie Gandilo
  • Jeffery Klein
  • Tristan Matthews
  • Calvin Netterfield (Co-PI)
  • Giles Novak (Co-PI)
  • Enzo Pascale (Co-PI)
  • Juan Soler Pulido
  • Gregory Tucker

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Office of Polar Programs