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J.S. Stuart (MIT Lincoln Laboratory, MIT Dept Earth, Atmos., & Planetary Sciences)
We analyze 2.5 years of astronomical data from the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project to derive an estimate of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population. A Bayesian framework is used to correct for observational bias in the observed population, and the population distribution is estimated as a function of the absolute magnitude. A population distribution over the orbital parameters is assumed based upon the currently known population, while the prior population distribution over the absolute magnitude parameter is modeled as an exponential function of absolute magnitude. The large number of NEA detections from the LINEAR data, and the Bayesian analysis methodology provide a more robust estimate of the population than previously published estimates.