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The Near-Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Mission: Discovering Near-Earth Objects with a Microsatellite Seminar Presented at the University of Rochester.

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Presentation on theme: "The Near-Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Mission: Discovering Near-Earth Objects with a Microsatellite Seminar Presented at the University of Rochester."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Near-Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Mission: Discovering Near-Earth Objects with a Microsatellite Seminar Presented at the University of Rochester on 24 Nov 2008 by Ed Tedesco 1

2 2 Spacecraft is named “NEOSSat” ( Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite) Microsatellite is funded by: - Defence Research & Development Canada (Department of National Defence) - Canadian Space Agency (Industry Canada) - Canadian Science Team support from Space Sciences Sector (CSA) - Prime contractor is Dynacon Inc. - Currently in Phase C - Launch early in 2010

3 3 NEOSSat is a Dual-Use Mission... Asteroid Search: NESS Project  Some Near-Earth Asteroid classes are difficult to observe from the ground  Some are potentially hazardous  Some are potential future exploration targets  Searching and tracking from orbit offers advantages Satellite Tracking: HEOSS Project  DND pursuing Surveillance of Space (SoS) mission  Deeper understanding needed in many areas  DR&DC providing R&D support  A microsat is a fast, cheap way to test-fly SoS-relevant technologies

4 4 NEOSSat Science Teams Asteroid Science: (NESS Project) Alan Hildebrand, U. Calgary (PI) Ed Tedesco, PSI (US Sci. Team PI) Rob Cardinal, U. Calgary Jaymie Matthews, UBC Brett Gladman, UBC Brad Wallace, DR&DC Peter Brown, UWO Paul Wiegert, UWO Paul Chodas, JPL Mikael Granvik, U. Helsinki Steve Larson, U. Arizona Simon P. Worden, ARC Kieran Carroll, GEDEX Pete Gural, SAIC Satellite Tracking: (HEOSS Project) Brad Wallace, DRDC (PI) Frank Pinkney, DRDC Doug Burrell, RMC Lauchie Scott, DRDC Don Bedard, DRDC Jim Rody, DRDC Aaron Spaans, DRDC Martin Levesque, DRDC Sylvie Buteau, DRDC Tom Racey, RMC Alan Hildebrand, U.Calgary

5 5 Why NEOSSat and Small Bodies? Science Goals NRC (1998) “The Exploration of NEO’s” “To understand the orbital distribution, physical characteristics, composition, origin, and history of near-Earth objects.” The interaction of the NEO population with the planets Societal Goals Understand Impact Hazard Identify Extraterrestrial Resources

6 6 MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars) Dynacon is Prime Contractor Jaymie Matthews, PI Launched by Eurockot, June 30, 2003 Stellar astronomy mission degree attitude control Partner Universities: Univ. Toronto Univ. Toronto Univ. British Columbia Univ. British Columbia

7 7 NEOSSatNEOSSat

8 8 Constraining the Atira (a.k.a. IEO) Orbital Class Asteroid Population Constraining the Atira (a.k.a. IEO) Orbital Class Asteroid Population

9 9 The Inner Solar System

10 10 The Inner most Solar System

11 11 NEO Orbital Classes

12 12 We live in a historic time

13 13 The U.S. Congress’ Goal

14 14 Rationale for U.S. Congressional Goal

15 15 NESS Objectives - Search for new Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), focusing on Atens and Atiras - Do follow-up tracking of NEA’s - Assess potentially hazardous asteroids (PHA’s) - Monitor cometary behaviour - Enable radar imaging

16 16 NEOSSat Advantages for NEA Searching Can look close to the Sun: - Can discover IEOs, constrain population characteristics - Accelerate discovery rate for Atens, Apollos - Create opportunities for future NEA exploration missions - Create radar-imaging opportunities in daylight sky - Interrogate “impact keyholes” in daylight sky - Observe cometary behaviour close to the Sun Parallax: - Baseline of orbit diameter - Allows immediate distinction of NEAs from main-belt objects 24/7 availability = higher productivity

17 17 Cataloguing Search Efficiencies Cataloguing Search Efficiencies

18 18 Warning Efficiencies Warning Efficiencies

19 19 Spaced-based Sensor Wins LEO telescope out performs 4.0 m ground-based telescope in both cataloguing and warning - LEO deployment is superior to other space-based sittings for warning capability

20 20 The First Warning The First Warning Asteroid 2008 TC3 was discovered on 06 October 2008 as part of the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey for Near- Earth Objects and impacted the Earth on 07 October An asteroid the size of 2008 TC3 (~3 m in diameter) impacts the Earth every few months, but this is the first time one has been discovered before impact.

21 21 The First Warning The First Warning The brief flash created when 2008 TC3 entered the atmosphere was captured by Meteosat-8 in Rapid Scan Service, as shown in the image below. (IR3.9 channel, 07 October 2008 at 02:45:47 UTC).

22 22 The First Warning The First Warning The aftermath of the entry of 2008 TC3 into the atmosphere over northern Sudan was also captured in a video frame (below), showing the remnants of the long-lasting persistent, twisted, high altitude trail. Credit: Mohamed E. A. Mahir (Noub NGO), Dr. Muawia H. Shaddad (Univ. Khartoum), Dr. Peter Jenniskens (SETI Institute/NASA Ames).

23 23 NESS NEO Search Regions +/-45 deg +/-55 deg +/-40 deg “Ecliptic East” Region“Ecliptic West” Region Search each patch 4 times each, once per month Search patches each 0.86x 0.86 deg

24 24 Richness of NEO Fields near the Sun optimizes search performance (Boattini and Carusi, 1998)

25 25 Asteroid sky distribution to 300 m (Harris et al., 2006)

26 26 Simulated Atira Sky Densities (Masi, 2003)

27 27 Search Parameters can be Optimized for NEO Orbital Class

28 28 Simulated Search Performance: Atens and Atiras D > 500 m

29 29 Discovery Sensitivity to Asteroid Limiting Magnitude

30 30 Discovery Magnitude Distribution for Survey to V = 21 (56% of discoveries have V between 20 and 21.)

31 31 Phase Effects vs. Distance at Low Solar Elongations

32 32 Discriminating NEA asteroids of interest: Proper motions at discovery?

33 33 Proper Motions of Main Belt Asteroids at Discovery

34 34 Saved by Parallax – A Consequence of Orbiting Sensor

35 35 NEOSSat “Boldly Going” - Will constrain Atira (IEO) population - Will explore the synergies between ground-based & space-based sensors - Will develop asteroid search software for a “parallatic” space-based sensor - NEOSSat will put Canada at No. 2 in the world at contributing to reduction of the NEO impact hazard in dollars invested


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