Seminar Series

Asteroid risk, innovative optics, whole sky surveys

Andrea Milani Comparetti, Department of Mathematics, University of Pisa and SpaceDyS SRL, Cascina, Pisa

29 Mar 2013 - 12:00

The asteroid impact risk has been recently demonstrated by the Celyabinsk event. The question of what could be done to prevent/mitigate similar impacts by small asteroids has been asked loudly, and deserves an answer. 

A network of comparatively small telescopes (1 m class) can be compliant with the requirements of a Wide Survey for Near Earth Objects, with the capability of mitigating 50% of the immediate impacts, even from objects as small a 20 m diameter, from the very start of the survey; this percentage grows as the survey progresses.

The technical implications of the requirement for full sky coverage in every night, with capability of discovering moving objects, will be discussed. We have found that what is required is an innovative telescope, with a field of view not accessible with conventional telescope designs. Such a design exists and is based on the concept of fly-eye, that is separate focal planes. The challenge of manifacturing such telescope, and the equally relevant challenges of data processing, in particular under the condition of remote operations, are discussed.

I will also discuss the possible additional usages of the same innovative optics for other surveys, and the possibility/opportunity of sharing the same images for different astronomical projects.

LCO Seminar Series,
6740 Cortona Dr, Suite 102,
Goleta, CA 93117