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A precursor mission to high contrast imaging balloon system

Olivier Côtéa, Guillaume Allaina, Denis Brousseaua, Marie-Pier Lorda, Samy Ouahbia, Mireille Ouelleta, Deven Patela, Simon Thibaulta, Cédric Valléea, Ruslan Belikovb, Eduardo Bendekb, Célia Blainc , Collin Bradleyc, Olivier Daiglee, Chris de Jongel, David Doelmand, René Doyonf, Frédéric Grandmontg, Micheal Helmbrechth, Mattew Kenworthyd, David Lafrenièref, Frank Marchisi, Christian Maroisj, Steeve Montminyk, Frans Snikd, Gautam Vasishtb, Jean-Pierre Véranj , and Philippe Vincentk


aCenter for Optics, Photonics and Lasers, Université Laval, Canada
bNASA Ames Research Center, United States
cUniversity of Victoria, Canada
dUniversiteit Leiden, Netherlands
eNüvü Caméras Inc., Canada
f Université de Montréal, Canada
gABB Inc., Canada
hIris AO Inc., United States
iSETI Institute, United States
jNRC-Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Canada
kCanadian Space Agency, Canada
lSRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, University of Groningen, Netherlands


The HiCIBaS (High-Contrast Imaging Balloon System) project aims at launching a balloon borne telescope up to 36km to test high contrast imaging equipment and algorithms. The payload consists of a off the shelf 14-inch telescope with a custom-built Alt-Az mount. This telescope provides lights to two sensors, a pyramidal low order wave front sensor, and a coronagraphic wavefront sensor. Since the payload will reach its cruise altitude at about midnight mission, two target stars have been designated for observations, Capella as the night target, and Polaris as the early morning target. Data will be collected mainly on the magnitude of atmospheric and gondola’s turbulences, the luminosity of the background. The whole system is already built and ready to ship to Timmins for the launch in mid-August 2018.

Article published during SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation, 2018, Austin, Texas, United States

More information on Nüvü Camēras involvement in this project here

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