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The NEO Surveillance Mission (NEOSM) Survey Simulations

Presentation #208.03 in the session “Asteroid Surveys: Shapes and Sizes”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
The NEO Surveillance Mission (NEOSM) Survey Simulations

The Near-Earth Object Surveillance Mission (NEOSM; see abstract by S. Sonnett) is a next generation space-based survey designed to discover, track, and characterize at least two-thirds of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) larger than 140m and therefore capable of causing significant regional damage (Mainzer et al., 2015, AJ, v149, p172). The flight segment of the NEOSM, NEO Surveyor, is an infrared telescope to be located at the L1 Lagrange point, where it will observe the region between 45 and 120 degrees longitude from the Sun, and -40 to +40 degrees ecliptic latitude on either side of the Sun. Along with making significant headway towards the 90% completeness goal for PHAs larger than 140m laid out in the Congressional direction to NASA (George E. Brown Act), NEOSM is also expected to detect and characterize on the order of 300,000 smaller near-Earth objects (NEOs), thousands of comets, and millions of more distant main belt and other asteroids. Since NEOs emit most of their energy at thermal infrared wavelengths, NEOSM will image the sky at two IR bandpasses centered on 4.5 and 8 µm. The survey is designed to maximize sensitivity to NEOs and provide robust measurements of physical properties, such as effective spherical diameter, while sensitive to both low and high albedo objects.

In order to understand the capabilities of the NEOSM survey, the project has developed the NEOSM Investigation Software Suite, consisting of the NEOSM Reference Small Body Population Model (RSBPM; see abstract by Eva Lilly) and the NEOSM Survey Simulator (NSS). In this talk we will present the most recent results of using the NISS to model the performance of the NEOSM, focusing on the completeness metrics in the size-frequency domain (Wright et al, 2016, AJ, v152, p79). We will also report on our latest model of the future performance of the existing surveys for NEOs.

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