SuperBIT (PI: William Jones, Princeton) is a mid-latitude (launch from Wanaka, NZ) ultra-long duration balloon (ULDB), which will provide 100 days of near space-quality imaging of selected galaxy clusters to study properties of dark energy and dark matter. The instrument will provide <0.3 arcsecond resolution imaging over a 0.4 square deg^2 field of view in five bands between 300 and 1000 nm with sensitivities exceeding 24th magnitude (5σ point source). The actual launch is planned for spring 2017 or 2018; the overall duration of the program is 2016-2020.
SuperBIT is the logical first step toward an ambitious but achievable goal of facility class observatories providing hundreds of days of near space-quality imaging and spectroscopy per year at a small fraction of the cost of a single dedicated space mission. The future development and design of 2+ meter mirror ULDB missions with giga-pixel class focal planes will provide a complementary capability to space and ground-based observations from Euclid, WFIRST, and LSST and will greatly enhance their science output.