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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.


Photo of Spencer Everett
Spencer Everett
Origin of the Universe
Photo of Jason Rhodes
Jason Rhodes
Science Division - Senior Research Scientist