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Developing Kinetic Inductance Detectors for the Balloon‐borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST)

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Developing Kinetic Inductance Detectors for the Balloon‐borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST)
As an NSTRF fellow, I will use the new Polarized Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (Super BLASTPol) to make groundbreaking measurements of polarized dust emission in galactic and extragalactic star forming regions. Stars are the basic units of the Universe, and yet, after decades of research, much about the physical processes regulating star formation remains poorly understood. Numerical simulations have shown that magnetic fields have a substantial impact on star formation efficiency in addition to the lifetime of molecular clouds. Observationally, however, the strength and morphology in these clouds is poorly constrained. A valuable tracer of magnetic fields in star forming regions is polarization. By mapping polarized emission from dust grains aligned with respect to their local magnetic field, the field orientation can be traced. My work on the development and integration of the kinetic inductance detector (KID) array and the science of Super BLASTPol will serve as the focus of my graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania in the Experimental Cosmology group of Professor Mark Devlin. KIDs are a leading detector candidate for future FIR/sub-mm satellite missions, making Super BLASTPol not only a fully integrated systems level instrument in its own right, but a path-finder mission for future satellite-based missions, which are of high priority to NASA's SMD. More »

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