Purpose of the flight and payload description
A gondola (UCSB's Advanced Cosmic Microwave Explorer (ACME) gondola) houses the MAX experiment including the telescope optics, a millimeter-wave receiver, and a system for pointing the telescope.
MAX rapidly compares two different points on the sky by mechanical modulation of the secondary mirror. Anisotropy in the CMB gives a measured "temperature difference" between these two points on the sky. MAX scans several sky regions in one night of observation. In sky regions that are free of galactic interference MAX measures anisotropy in the temperature of the 2.73 degree Kelvin CMB of roughly three parts in 100,000.
A four frequency band photometer allows discrimination of the CMB from galactic interference based on differences in spectra.
An Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (ADR) cools the bolometric detectors to below 100 mK, giving high sensitivity.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 7/2/1990 at 1:39 utc
Launch site: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine, Texas, US
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon N19I-8/8T-3.02
Balloon serial number: R3.02-1-102
Flight identification number: 1491P
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 7/2/1990 at 11:30 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): F 6 h 40 m
Landing site: 23 miles WNW of San Angelo, Texas, US
- MAX website at Berekeley University server
- MAX website Berkeley Cosmology Group
- A bolometric millimeter-wave system for observations of anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background radiation on medium angular scales Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 388, April 1, 1992, p. 242-252.
- A search for anisotrophy in the cosmic microwave background on intermediate angular scales Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 395, no. 2, Aug. 20, 1992, p. 317-325
- NASA Balloon Flights (1989-1998) in NASA Historical Data Book, Vol. VII: NASA Launch Systems, Space Transportation, Human Spaceflight, and Space Science, 1989-1998
- The advanced cosmic microwave explorer - A millimeter-wave telescope and stabilized platform Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 406, no. 1, p. 12-25
- The Millimeter Wave Anisotropy Experiment (MAX) Astrophysical Letters and Communications, Vol. 32, p.223
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