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Capabilities of Earth-based radar facilities for near-Earth asteroid observations

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2016

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Shantanu. P. Naidu, Lance. A. M. Benner, Jean-Luc Margot, Michael. W. Busch, Patrick. A. Taylor
(Submitted on 4 Apr 2016)

We evaluated the planetary radar capabilities at Arecibo, the Goldstone 70 m DSS-14 and 34-m DSS-13 antennas, the 70-m DSS-43 antenna at Canberra, the Green Bank Telescope, and the Parkes Radio Telescope in terms of their relative sensitivities and the number of known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) detectable per year in monostatic and bistatic configurations. In the 2015 calendar year, monostatic observations with Arecibo and DSS-14 were capable of detecting 253 and 131 NEAs respectively. Combined, the two observatories were capable of detecting 276 unique NEAs. Of these, Arecibo detected 95 and Goldstone detected 39, or 38% and 30% the numbers that were possible. This indicates that a substantial number of potential targets are not being observed. The bistatic configuration with DSS-14 transmitting and the Green Bank Telescope receiving was capable of detecting about 195 NEAs, or ~50% more than with monostatic observations at DSS-14. Most of the detectable asteroids were targets-of-opportunity that were discovered less than 15 days before the end of their observing windows. About 50% of the detectable asteroids have absolute magnitudes > 25, which corresponds diameters <~30 m.

Comments: 11 pages, 6 figures, submitted to AJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:1604.01080 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1604.01080v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Shantanu Naidu
[v1] Mon, 4 Apr 2016 22:15:31 GMT (80kb)
http://arxiv.org/abs/1604.01080

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