12 July 2008 NEOSSat: a Canadian small space telescope for near Earth asteroid detection
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Abstract
Although there is some success in finding Near Earth asteroids from ground-based telescopes, there is a marked advantage in performing the search from space. The ability to search at closer elongations from the sun and being able to observe continuously, allowing quick revisits of new asteroids, are some of the unique benefits of a space platform. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) together with Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) are planning a micro-satellite platform with a 15 cm telescope dedicated for near space surveillance. The NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Surveillance) spacecraft is expected to be able to detect 20 v magnitude objects with a 100 sec exposure, with a 0.85 deg FOV, on a 1024x1024 CCD, and sub arcsec pointing stability. For detection of NEO small bodies, it will be able to search an area from 45 degrees solar elongation and approximately 40 degrees north to south degrees in elevation. The observation strategy will be optimized to find as many asteroids as possible, based on recent models of asteroid population. Ground based telescopes will also be used to complement follow-ups for orbit determination when possible. The microsatellite is based on the CSA very successful MOST micro-satellite, operating since 2003. Baselined for launch in 2010, the NEOSSat is a shared project with DRDC to demonstrate the technology of an inexpensive space platform to detect High Earth Orbit (HEOSS) earth-orbiting satellites and debris.
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Denis Laurin, Denis Laurin, Alan Hildebrand, Alan Hildebrand, Rob Cardinal, Rob Cardinal, William Harvey, William Harvey, Siamak Tafazoli, Siamak Tafazoli, } "NEOSSat: a Canadian small space telescope for near Earth asteroid detection", Proc. SPIE 7010, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 701013 (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789736; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.789736
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