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AE590 : Observing the Universe From Above the Clouds

Event Type
Department of Aerospace Engineering
CIF 2035
May 1, 2023   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Courtney McLearin
Originating Calendar
Aerospace Engineering Seminars

Long-duration ballooning missions play a unique role in astronomy. By lofting multi-ton instruments to >35 km altitudes, they supporting observations that cannot be made through Earth’s obscuring atmosphere. They also prove out new technologies that will enable the next generation of space missions, and help to train the personnel who will carry them out. I will give a brief introduction to SPIDER, a balloon-borne cryogenic telescope to observe the cosmic microwave background - the afterglow of the Big Bang. Along the way I will discuss some of the engineering challenges of this and related LDB missions.



About the speaker:

Jeff Filippini is an Associate Professor in the Physics and Astronomy departments at the University of Illinois. After completing his undergraduate degree at Harvard, he earned a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, searching for evidence of particle dark matter with cryogenic detectors located deep underground. As a Moore Postdoctoral Scholar and then Robinson Postdoctoral Scholar at Caltech he shifted his work to observational cosmology, notably measurements of the cosmic microwave background. His research focuses on teasing out new insights about fundamental physics and cosmic history through observations of the universe, both from the ground and from stratospheric balloons, and on the development of new technologies for future measurements. He joined the Illinois faculty in 2015.

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