IR Balloon Project


This project investigates the feasibility of high altitude balloon based telescopes.

A high altitude telescope could minimize emission and “seeing”  from the Earth’s atmosphere enabling a relatively low cost mission.. This project focuses on the possibility of frost buildup on the telescope mirror. The upper atmosphere is simulated in a vacuum chamber (about one meter cube) that is cooled with liquid nitrogen and data is collected via webcam and thermoresistors.

A mild cryo pump effectively prevents frost buildup.


Chamber Diagram for IR

Chamber Diagram for IR


Frost Formation: Sequence 1

Frost Formation without cryo pump shield: Sequence 1