DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 12P. Asteroid Dynamics I and II
Contributed Poster Session, Tuesday, October 13, 1998, 4:15-5:20pm, Hall of Ideas

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[12P.10] Results of the JPL Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) Program

E. F. Helin, K. J. Lawrence, S. H. Pravdo, D. L. Rabinowitz (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), NEAT Team

The Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program is the first fully automated system for controlling a remote telescope, acquiring wide-field digital images, and detecting Near- Earth Objects (NEOs). Under an agreement between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the California Institute of Technology and the U. S. Air Force, JPL is provided access to a 1.0 m telescope located at the 3000 m summit of Haleakala crater in Maui, Hawaii. By scripting 20 sec exposures every 45 secs, this system can image up to 800 sq. deg. thrice nightly to magnitude limit V=19.5, and can detect asteroids with 90% efficiency to V=18. As of July 1998, NEAT has surveyed approx. 60,000 sq. deg., detected more than 25,000 asteroid, and discovered 33 new NEAs, 2 comets and unique object 1996 PW. The current rate of NEO detections, including incidental redetections, is about 1.5 per 1000 sq. deg., of which half are larger than 1 km in diameter. NEAT leads the field in the detection of these largest and most hazardous NEOs, and also in the detection of Aten asteroids with orbital periods shorter than 1 year. A proposal is currently under review to run the NEAT program on three Air Force telescopes, 18 nights per month. Such a system would cover the whole night sky 3 times per month to V=20, and detect 90% of the NEOs larger than 1 km in 20 years. Simple improvements, such as operating the CCD at a lower temperature and improving telescope tracking, would lead to 90% detection in 10 years.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://huey.jpl.nasa.gov/~pravdo/neat.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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