DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 54. Asteroid Discovery and Dynamics II
Oral, Chairs: D. Durda, P. Michel, Saturday, December 1, 2001, 11:05am-12:35pm, Regency E

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[54.08] Detection Efficiency of LINEAR

J. B. Evans, G. H. Stokes, H. E. M. Viggh, J. S. Stuart (MIT Lincoln Laboratory)

The Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program has applied electro-optical technology developed for Air Force Space Surveillance applications to the problem of discovering Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and comets. LINEAR, which started full operations in March of 1998, has discovered through July of 2001, 667 NEAs, 35 unusual objects, and 64 comets. Currently, LINEAR is contributing ~70% of the world-wide NEA discovery rate.

This paper details preliminary studies into the detection efficiency of the LINEAR system. The detection efficiency of the system is computed for individual nights when the region of sky searched has a statistically significant number of candidate moving objects for detection. Limiting visual magnitudes are obtained from these nights, and the information garnered allows for the estimation of the limiting visual magnitudes for the remainder of the nights. An accurate measure of the limiting magnitude is essential to characterizing a search system's capability.

This work was sponsored by the Department of the Air Force and NASA under Air Force contract F19628-00-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Air Force.

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