Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Asteroid Hunting

07.03.2003


A lot of attention has been paid in recent years to the asteroid threat issue. The International Asteroid Patrol has been set up to monitor the flight of potentially dangerous celestial rocks in visual diapason. However, the accuracy of optical methods for determining the trajectory leaves much to be desired. That accounts for inaccuracy of numerous forecasts predicting the date when the space "killer" is to collide with the Earth.



The scientists of the Radio-Astronomical Institute (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) have suggested that RT-70 radio-telescope (located in the town of Yevpatoria) should be used to determine and refine the coordinates of selected asteroids. The radio-telescope is equipped with a special guidance system which permits to point the telescope at any spot in the sky. The specificity of RT-70 is its ability to perform two functions: to send radio signals into space and to receive them. There are only two of such universal telescopes in the world.

The Kharkov radio-astronomers have carried out the first radio-location session. The RT-70 telescope antenna radiated radio-frequency pulses in the direction of 1998 WT 24 asteroid, and the echo pulse was synchronously received by Russian and foreign radio-astronomers at several antennas simultaneously. Application of the radio-interferometry method, i.e. coordinated effort of several radio-telescopes located at a distance from each other, allowed to determine the celestial body coordinates at that point with the highest possible precision, and, consequently, to calculate its trajectory. A successful experiment of this type, which took place for the first time in the world, proved that the radio-location method could discover an asteroid, calculate peculiarities of its orbit and surface when it was at a large distance from the Earth.


This method is also applicable for discovering the space garbage. Thirty years of cosmonautics have contaminated the near-earth space with a lot of fragments of worn out space vehicles. Of course, as time passes, part of the debris falls down to the Earth and gets burnt in its atmosphere, but the remainder (dozens of thousands of fragments varying in dimensions) stay firmly in the geostationary orbits and can threaten spaceships. To efficiently track the movement of these fragments around the Earth and to avoid the collision when planning new launches and landings, a special catalogues were made and are continuously filled up with new and more precise data.

The study primarily involves optical devices and laser location. Experiments with RT-70 have proved that radio-location is able to help in compiling such catalogues. The Kharkov specialists sent signals from RT-70 radio-telescope in the direction of one of the fragments in the geostationary orbit, the signal reflection being steadily accepted by the English, French, Italian, Poles, etc., i.e. all the countries that have appropriate equipment. This allowed to determine the fragments dimensions, speed of rotation, orbit and other parameters necessary for the catalogue.

The research also involved the specialists from the Astro-Cosmic Center (Physical Institute of Academy of Sciences), Institute of Radio Electronics (Russian Academy of Sciences) and Institute of Applied Astronomy (Russian Academy of Sciences).

Valentina Gatash | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru/eng/2003/2003-03-07-02_332_e.htm

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht MEMS chips get metatlenses
21.02.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht International team publishes roadmap to enhance radioresistance for space colonization
21.02.2018 | Biogerontology Research Foundation

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index started off well in 2018

22.02.2018 | Business and Finance

FAU researchers demonstrate that an oxygen sensor in the body reduces inflammation

22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Histology in 3D: new staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>