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Array of Small Telescope with Synthetic Tracking for NEO Discovery

Presentation #101.02 in the session “Asteroid Surveys: Gotta Catch 'em All”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Array of Small Telescope with Synthetic Tracking for NEO Discovery

Synthetic tracking searches for NEOs using ~100 images of 5 sec exposures. The images are added with a shift/add algorithm with ~10,000 different velocity vectors. The short single exposure is sky background limited and avoid trailing losses due to a streaked image. This allows small 28cm telescopes to obtain sensitivity to ~20.8 mag, with ~2.5 arcsec images. Modern low cost 60Mpix CMOS cameras coupled to a fast f/2.2 consumer Schmidt telescope gives a 7.3sqdeg FOV. We will describe the performance and operation of a 3 telescope array and an automated follow up telescope (36cm dia) and perhaps an additional 4 telescope array scheduled to be installed in ~september. When all 7 survey telescopes are operational we should be able to search ~50 sqdeg to 20.8mag in 500sec. The main advantage of using multiple small telescopes comes from the very low cost of mass produced optics and sensors.


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