The Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project is a MIT Lincoln Laboratory effort cooperatively sponsored by the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The objective of the LINEAR project is to substantially contribute to the NASA goal of cataloging 90 larger than 1 km, within the next 10 years. Since March 1998, the LINEAR project has been hosted on a 1-meter diameter telescope located at the Lincoln Laboratory Experimental Test Site (ETS) on the White Sands Missile Range near Socorro, New Mexico. Beginning in October 1999, the LINEAR system added a second 1-meter telescope to routine operations, thus doubling the search capacity. Each telescope is equipped with a large format 2560x1960 back-illuminated frame-transfer CCD along with associated camera/processing elements developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory for United States Air Force space surveillance applications. Since March of 1998, LINEAR has contributed 70 1999 the LINEAR project has discovered 66 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (also referred to as PHAs), 20 Atens, 132 Apollos and 127 Amors type Near Earth asteroids. In addition, LINEAR has discovered 23 comets within the past year, and the first two asteroids with retrograde orbits that show no indication of cometary activity. Future plans for the LINEAR project include further automation of operations and processing enhancements that will increase the already impressive discovery rate of the LINEAR program.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1999