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TRIP: a cold telescope for measurements of the Near Infrared Cosmological Background at balloon altitudes


A cooled telescope (250 mm, F/2) has been designed and prepared for measurements of both local and cosmological Near Infrared backgrounds in the waveband 1–5 μm at balloon altitudes (40 km). The separation of various foreground contributions should be possible by applying observing strategies based on multiple sky scans with different filters. The whole apparatus will be tested in flight by using a detection system based on a linear array of 32 InSb pixels cryogenically cooled and thermally controlled at 52 K. The instrument sensitivity will allow the measurement of most of the local backgrounds. The focal plane could be easily re-arranged to house bidimensional array detectors cooled down to ∼ 35 K with performance improvements of a factor at least 100 ÷ 200. A description is given of the main characteristics of the instrument (optics, cryostat, detector), of the control subsystems (cryogenics, pointing systems, electronics, ground equipment) and of the expected performance based on laboratory test results.

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Ventura, G., Malaspina, M., Boscaleri, A. et al. TRIP: a cold telescope for measurements of the Near Infrared Cosmological Background at balloon altitudes. Exp Astron 6, 59–82 (1995).

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  • cosmology
  • balloon-borne instrumentation
  • infrared detection
  • cryogenics