University of Arizona
In our Phase A study we propose to develop and demonstrate the technology required to realize a suborbital, 10 meter class telescope suitable for operation from radio to THz frequencies. The telescope consists of an inflatable, half-aluminized spherical reflector deployed within a much larger carrier balloon - either zero pressure or super pressure. Besides serving as a launch vehicle, the carrier balloon provides both a stable mount and radome for the enclosed telescope. Looking up, the LBR will serve as a telescope. Looking down, the LBR can be used for remote sensing or telecommunication activities. The proposed effort directly addresses NASA’s Strategic Goals 2, 3, 5, and 6.