Status and plans for the NEOO program

Report
Near Earth Objects
Overview of the NEO Observation Program
Lindley Johnson
Planetary Science Division
NASA HQ
21 June 2012
NEO Observation Program
US component to International Spaceguard Survey effort
Has provided 99% of new detections of NEOs since 1998
Began with NASA commitment to House Committee on Science
in May, 1998
– Averaged ~$4M/year Research funding 2002-2010
– 400% plus-up to $20M in President’s 2012 budget submittal
Scientific Objective: Discover 90% of NEOs larger than 1
kilometer in size within 10 years (1998 – 2008)
NASA Authorization Act of 2005 provided additional direction)
“…plan, develop, and implement a Near-Earth Object Survey program to detect,
track, catalogue, and characterize the physical characteristics of near-Earth objects
equal to or greater than 140 meters in diameter in order to assess the threat of such
near-Earth objects to the Earth. It shall be the goal of the Survey program to achieve
90 percent completion of its near-Earth object catalogue within 15 years [by 2020].
2
NASA’s NEO Search Program
(Current Systems)
Minor Planet Center (MPC)
• IAU sanctioned
• Int’l observation database
• Initial orbit determination
NEO-WISE
www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html
NEO Program Office @ JPL
• Program coordination
• Precision orbit determination
• Automated SENTRY
http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/
JPL
Sun-synch LEO
LINEAR
Catalina Sky
Survey
MIT/LL
UofAZ
Arizona & Australia
Soccoro, NM
End of
Operations
Feb 2011,
Analysis
Of Data
Continues
Pan-STARRS
Uof3 HI
Haleakula, Maui
Known Near Earth Asteriod Population
Start of
NASA NEO
Program
Known Near Earth Asteroid Population
5
Spaceguard Survey Catalog Program
Current Spaceguard Survey Infrastructure and Process
Survey,
Detect,
& Report
Correlate, Determine
Rough Orbit
Publish/
Update
Results
Observations and
Update Orbit
Radar
No
Routine
Processing
Publish
Results
Possible
New PHO?
Yes
•
Resolve
Result
Differences
Iterate
Yes
Publish
Results
No
Potential
Impact?
JPL NEO Office*
* In parallel with NEODyS
Impact
Still
Possible?
•
•
Survey Systems
Minor Planet Center
No
•
Yes
Precision Orbit
and Follow Up
Observations
Alerts to
NASA HQ
MPC - PHO
of interest
MPC possible
close
approach
JPL - reports
potential for
impact
JPL publishes
probability of
impact
6
NASA’s NEO Search Program
(Current Systems)
Minor Planet Center (MPC)
• IAU sanctioned
• Int’l observation database
• Initial orbit determination
NEO-WISE
Not Shown – “Follow-up” Projects:
www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html
NEO Program Office @ JPL
• Program coordination
• Precision orbit determination
• Several Professional
• Automated SENTRY
http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/
End of
Operations
Feb 2011,
Analysis
Of Data
Continues
JPL
Sun-synch LEO
Observatories
Pan-STARRS
provide critical Catalina
data to secure
Sky orbits
LINEAR
Survey
• Numerous Amateur Astronomers
worldwide provide high-precision
observations to fill critical gaps
MIT/LL
Soccoro, NM
UofAZ
Arizona & Australia
Uof7 HI
Haleakula, Maui
Radar Studies
Observations on the limited accessible objects
– 20 to 30 NEOs/year from Goldstone and Arecibo
– Required for timely precision orbit determination
– Characterization with sufficient signal strength
• Shape, spin-state, surface structure
• Satellites (an then derived mass)
Study of Shape, Size, Motion and
Mass of 66391 (1999 KW4)
Shape, Size of
6489 Golevka
8
2005 YU55 Approach to Earth Nov. 8, 2011
C-type asteroid
Diameter ~400 meters
Earth & Moon
close approach
Extensive radar, visual and infrared observations were obtained.
Radar Rotation Study of 2005 YU55
Arecibo Observes Newly Discovered 2012 LZ
2012 LZ1 was discovered 10 June 2012 by
Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.
Classified as a potentially hazardous by
the Minor Planet Center because its orbit
brings it close to Earth (within 20 lunar
distances). Arecibo observed this asteroid
on 19 June 2012 to measure its orbit more
precisely, and to determine its size,
rotation rate and shape.
2012 LZ1 was found to be about 1 kilometer (0.6
miles) in its largest dimension. It must be quite
dark, reflecting only 2-4% of the light that hits it.
The image shows that it is fairly spherical and
rotates in about 10-15 hours. Image was taken when
the asteroid was 10 million kilometers (6 million
miles) away, and the resolution is 7.5 m (25 feet).
2012 LZ1 is twice as large as originally
estimated based on its brightness, large
enough to have serious global
consequences if it were to hit the Earth.
However, the new orbit solution based on
radar measurements shows that this object
does not have any chance of hitting the
Earth for at least the next 750 years.
FY2012 Budget Allocation
Future Survey Capabilities
Space SurveillanceTelescope
• DARPA funded project
• Designed and built by MIT/LL
• Same division as LINEAR
• Located Atom Peak, WSMR, NM
• 3.6 meter primary mirror
• First Light was Feb 2011
• Started 1 year of checkout
• Eventual operations by AFSPC
• First of 3 to 4 worldwide sites
• Serendipitous detection of NEOs in
background mode to space surveillance
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Near Term Impact Warning
Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System –ATLAS*:
A project to patrol the entire night sky every night in search of incoming asteroids
A geographically dispersed network (> 6 sites) of
small coupled telescopes observing “shallow but
wide” to provide more complete sky coverage for
warning of near-term impact threats
Proposed ATLAS telescope design
*Courtesy University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy
Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
A National Science
Foundation Project
Initial Operations 2019?
6.4-m effective diameter
10 sq deg field of view
ugrizy optical filters
18,000 square degrees ++
2x15s exposures + 2 more
within 60 minutes
Survey entire visible sky every
3-4 days in 2 filters for 10 years
16
Various NEO Survey Telescope Concepts
•
•
A NEO survey telescope will discover highly accessible NEO targets
suitable for human exploration in a timely manner.
– Optimized for detection of objects in Earth-like orbits within two
years of launch
– Launch ready in 4 to 5 years with low risk
The survey will include follow-up of all detected objects, plus
characterization (size, rotation rate) of selected objects.
Study
Description
Survey
Type
Picture
Cost
NEOCam/JPL
•Sun-Earth L1 orbit
•Mid-IR
•50cm aperture
Sweet Spot
< $500 M
(excluding launch)
NEOStar/BATC
•Trailing Venus orbit
•Mid-IR
•50cm aperture
Opposition
~ $500 M
(excluding launch)
NEST – L2/APL
•Sun-Earth L2 orbit
•Visible
•90cm aperture
Sweet Spot
< $500 M
(excluding launch)
NEST Venus/APL
•Trailing Venus orbit
•Mid-IR
•90cm aperture
Opposition
~ $500 M
(excluding launch)
Space-based “Sentinel” Concept
Spitzer
X
≈
Kepler
“Sentinel”
NASA has signed a Space Act Agreement
to support B612 Project Sentinel
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