Author Topic: Asteroid experts plan privately funded Sentinel Space Telescope  (Read 34911 times)

Offline Star One

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Asteroid experts plan privately funded Sentinel Space Telescope
« Reply #100 on: 06/21/2017 04:41 PM »
B612 studying smallsat missions to search for near Earth objects

In a June 19 interview, Ed Lu, the co-founder of B612, said the foundation is focusing instead on smaller, but more numerous, NEOs. “The real gap is the 100 times as many asteroids smaller than 140 meters but still large enough to destroy things on the ground,” he said. The lower end of that size range, he said, is roughly 20 to 40 meters in diameter, with an estimated population of several million asteroids.

B612 is studying a technology called “synthetic tracking” to more effectively detect small asteroids. That approach, he said, uses high-speed graphics processing to compensate for the motion of asteroids in long exposures, allowing smaller telescopes to detect these objects.

“We’ve had quite a bit of success testing this technology already on the ground,” he said. “We are looking towards building an Earth orbit demonstrator of the technology.”

Ultimately, Lu said he envisions a constellation of likely 5 to 10 satellites, each carrying a telescope with an aperture of 15 centimeters. “They’re not cubesats, but they’re not much larger,” he said.

Lu said the foundation would provide more details about its small satellite plans later this year, including a schedule for flying the first demonstration spacecraft. “The timescale is quite short,” he said.

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« Last Edit: 06/21/2017 04:43 PM by Star One »