NEO Surveyor | Astronomie.de - Der Treffpunkt für Astronomie

NEO Surveyor

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Na endlich, das war wirklich überfällg. Nachdem wir uns sogar hier schon darüber ereifert haben, was denn nun zu zu tun sei, um auch jene immer erst viel zu spät entdeckten NEOs, welche aus der Sonnenrichtung kommen, früher aufzufinden, scheint sich da etwas zu tun:

NASA approves development of asteroid-hunting Near-Earth Object Surveyor space telescope

NEO Surveyor
  • Objectives: The main objective of the mission is to discover and characterize the orbit of most of the potentially hazardous asteroids larger than 140 meters over the course of its mission. Its field of view will be large enough to allow the mission to discover tens of thousands of new NEOs with sizes as small as 30 m in diameter.
  • Spacecraft: The NEO Surveyor spacecraft will have a total mass of no more than 1,300 kg, allowing it to launch on a vehicle like an Atlas 5 or Falcon 9 to the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrange point. The mission should reach the 90% congressional goal within 10 years, with an anticipated mission lifetime of 12 years.
  • Telescope: The NEO Surveillance Mission will employ a 50-centimeter infrared telescope operating wide-field cameras at two thermal infrared wavelength channels for a total wavelength range between 4 µm and 10 µm. Its field of view is 11.56 square degrees. It will use a modified version of the HgCdTe Astronomical Wide Area Infrared Imager (HAWAII) detector developed by Teledyne Imaging Sensors. The mission prototype detector was successfully tested in April 2013. The detector array is 2,048 × 2,048 pixels and will produce 82 gigabits of data per day. For good infrared performance without the use of cryogenic fluid refrigeration, the detector will be passively cooled to 30 K using techniques proven by the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Um Missverständnisse auszuschließen: ein Surveyor am L1 Lagrange Punkt ist zwar ein Schritt in die richtige Richtung, das alleine wird aber längst nicht reichen, um NEOs auf Kollisionskurs rechtzeitig zu erkennen. Dafür wäre eine wesentlich längere Vorwarnzeit erforderlich!
 
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